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Drops of Nectar
Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary on Shantideva’s Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas
Volume Two
Version: July 2004

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Śāntideva’s Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra

according to the tradition of Paltrül Rinpoche Commentary by Khenpo Kunpal Chapter Two
With Oral Explanations by Dzogchen Khenpo Chöga
Volume Two
Compiled and translated by Andreas Kretschmar Edited by Judith S. Amtzis

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Copyright and Fair Usage Notice Copyright © Andreas Kretschmar 2003. All rights reserved. The translations and commentaries of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra are made available online as a gift of dharma. They are being offered with the intent that anyone may download them, print them out, read and study them, share them with friends, and even copy and redistribute the files privately. Still, the following must be observed:

The files may be copied and given to others privately provided that no fee is charged for them. Other web-sites are encouraged to link to this page. However, the files may only be put up for distribution on other sites with the personal permission of Andreas Kretschmar. Neither the files nor their content are in the public domain; the copyright for both remains with the translator, Andreas Kretschmar. In accord with standard copyright law, you may use reasonable portions of these files for your own work, publication or translations. If you do use them in that way, please cite these files as if they were printed books! Please make clear in your work which portions of your text come from our translation and which portions are based on other sources.

The translator is happy to receive corrections and revisions from other translators, editors and readers. Up-to-date editions of these texts will be placed every six months or so at: http://www.tibet.dk/pktc/onlinepubs.htm http://www.kunpal.com/ Please send corrections and suggestions to Andreas Kretschmar: kretnet@aol.com Printed in the Palatino typeface with diacritics by Tony Duff, Tibetan Computer Company.

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Dedicated to the unceasing activities of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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Tibetan and English Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations of the Commentary Bibliography of Sūtras. and Śāstras Cited by Title Bibliography of Tibetan Works Cited by Title (not included) Bibliography of Modern Works Cited by Title (not included) Bibliography of Modern Works Cited by Author (not included) Tibetan-English Glossary (not included) Index of Technical Terms (not included) Index of Personal Names (not included) Index of Locations (not included) IX 000 1 5 25 157 317 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 . Tantras.VII Contents Acknowledgements Structural Chart of Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary (not included) Remarks About the Transliteration of the Tibetan Text Śāntideva’s Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra .Tibetan and English Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary .

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The Palatino typeface for the publication with its diacritical marks was produced by Tony Duff. Judy pointed out various translation mistakes in the Tibetan based on her knowledge of classical Tibetan. Khenpo Chöga’s in-depth explanations form the basis for this second volume and the ones that will follow. Khenpo Tenzin Norgey. it would not have been possible to capture the living explanation lineage on this text. The ‘living explanation lineage’ means the lineage of orally transmitted teachings on written texts. Tina Lang. The English text was edited by Judith S. Phugkhung Khenpo Sherab Zangpo. Without the generous help of these eminent Tibetan scholars. Andreas Kretschmar Kathmandu. carefully explaining all facets of the text. This entire project would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Marit and Siegfried Kretschmar. The entire layout of the book was done by Walter Thomas who also wrote the database software for the dictionary portion of the book. Nepal 2004 . During the editing process. Dzongsar Ngari Tulku Rinpoche. It was proof-read by Madhu Cannon. Dzogchen Khenpo Rigdzin Tharchin and Dzongsar Khenpo Khyenrab Wangchuk were kind enough to provide their oral commentaries on Khenpo Kunpal’s text.IX Acknowledgements In 1998 Dzogchen Khenpo Chöga began teaching Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary on the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. For helpful suggestions I am indebted to Michael Burroughs. Idan Ruebner and Pamela Ann Davis. Silke Hermann. Punya Prasad Parajuli and Rodney Yoder. In addition. Amtzis. Marit Kretschmar.

X .

written by Śāntideva. pages 1-134. Yeshe De. 1 The most recently published bka’ bstan dpe bsdur ma edition has not yet been integrated into this edition of the Tibetan root text. computer generated print by Dharma Publishing.1262. Derge Tangyur. La.3 in 1733. written by Śāntideva. Narthang (N) [snar thang] and Cone (C) [co ne]. bstan ’gyur Vol. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan commentary we refer to this edition as text ‘Y’. pages 243. The Derge Tangyur was printed between 1737-1744.Remarks About the Transliteration 1 Remarks About the Transliteration Remarks About the Transliteration of the Tibetan Text The Tibetan root text of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. This Peking edition of the Kangyur and Tangyur was begun in 1737 under the Qianlong emperor. Chengdu. 99. Peking Tangyur No. La. was established with the help of the Peking Tangyur edition (P). R. 2 si tu chos kyi ’byung gnas (1699-1774). This edition contains different readings from four Tangyur editions. written by Śāntideva. the Derge Tangyur edition (D).1. 61. mDo ’grel (dbu ma). 3 sde dge’i chos rgyal bstan pa tshe ring . In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan root text we refer to this edition as text ‘P’. dBu ma. and published as The Tibetan Tripitaka. spyod ’jug rtsa ba (si khron mi rigs edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa. Peking (P) [pe cin]. 1982. spyod ’jug rtsa ba (Derge edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa. Sichuan People’s Publishing House. P. The printing of the Derge Kangyur was begun under Situ Chökyi Jungne2 and the King of Derge. See spyod ’jug rtsa ba (bsdur ma edition) (PD). pages 951-1048. reprinted and catalogued between 1955 and 1961. namely Derge (D) [sde dge]. 95 folios. spyod ’jug rtsa ba. mDo ’grel (dbu ma) XXVI. one printed by Sichuan People’s Publishing House (S) and one printed by Dharma Publishing (Y). Tenpa Tsering. Vol.2. La. krung go’i bod kyi shes rig zhib ’jug lte gnas kyi bka’ bstan dpe sdur khang gis dpe bsdur zhus. and two modern computer generated editions. 5272. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan root text we refer to this edition as text ‘D’. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan root text we refer to this edition as text ‘S’ spyod ’jug rtsa ba (ye shes sde edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa. computer generated print by si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang. of China. published by krung go’i bod kyi shes rig dpe skrun khang. by Zenkar Rinpoche.7.1 spyod ’jug rtsa ba (Peking edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa. written by Śāntideva. folio 1-45a7.

off-set reprint of the Zhechen woodblock print [zhe chen spar ma]. 512 folios. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan commentary we refer to this edition as text ‘A’. consulting the other two editions. in Nepal. Sangye Tendzin himself studied in Zhechen Monastery as a young man. This text seems to be a complete rephrasing of Khenpo Kunpal’s text. The fourth text. If one is not familiar with the original zhe chen edition. published by Lama Ngödrup for Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. written by Khenpo Kunpal. printed by Sangye Tendzin. East Tibet. This edition must be treated with caution by any user. Yeshe De. we can presume that he would have stated so in his colophon. A careful comparison has shown that almost every sentence has been rewritten. it is difficult to distinguish which titles were written by Khenpo Kunpal and which were added by the editors. The editors have added titles in bold typeface to the sub-sections of the text. which accounts for . is the oldest: kun dpal ’grel pa (zhe chen edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa’i tshig ’grel ’jam dbyangs bla ma’i zhal lung bdud rtsi’i thig pa. computer generated print by Dharma Publishing. by Zenkar Rinpoche: kun dpal ’grel pa (si khron mi rigs edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa’i tshig ’grel ’jam dbyangs bla ma’i zhal lung bdud rtsi’i thig pa. pages 137-817. 1982. If he had gotten hold of an entirely different version of Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary. It is more likely that he himself rewrote the commentary. computer generated print by si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang. 1963. written by Khenpo Kunpal. R. computer generated and published through Sichuan People’s Publishing House. written by Khenpo Kunpal. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan commentary we refer to this edition as text ‘B’. We further used a modern reprint of the zhe chen edition. originally printed in Zhechen Monastery. Tarthang Tulku published in the late nineties of the 20th century a computer generated reprint of the zhe chen edition: kun dpal ’grel pa (ye shes sde edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa’i tshig ’grel ’jam dbyangs bla ma’i zhal lung bdud rtsi’i thig pa. We based our transliteration of the Tibetan text mainly on the zhe chen edition of Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary and have given variations in spelling and words in the footnotes.2 Remarks About the Transliteration We were further able to get hold of four Tibetan editions of Khenpo Kunpal’s texts. Chengdu. 371 folios. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan commentary we refer to this edition as text ‘C’. P. following Wylie’s transliteration system. the edition of the Zhechen Monastery. proved not to be of any help for the transliteration of the zhe chen edition. probably printed in the forties or early fifties of the 20th century in East Tibet. of China. Among these four texts.

. In the footnotes to the transliteration of the Tibetan commentary we refer to this edition as text ‘T’. Still. in 1963 (16th rab byung chu mo yos kyi lo). Nepal. 345 folios.Remarks About the Transliteration 3 the fact that present day khenpos do not consider this edition as being reliable. woodblock print by sangs rgyas bstan ‘dzin. written by Khenpo Kunpal. Sangye Tendzin’s edition is helpful to translators since it often gives different readings and interpretations of the text: kun dpal ’grel pa (sangs rgyas bstan ’dzin edition): byang chub sems dpa’i spyod pa la ’jug pa’i tshig ’grel ’jam dbyangs bla ma’i zhal lung bdud rtsi’i thig pa.

4 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two .

Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 5 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two Śāntideva’s Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra Chapter Two Confessing Negativity Tibetan and English .

6 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [1] rin-chen-sems de gzung-bar-bya-ba’i phyir / de-bzhin-gshegs-pa rnams dang dam-pa’i-chos / dkon-mchog dri-ma-med dang sangs-rgyas-sras / yon-tan rgya-mtsho rnams la legs-par mchod / me-tog ’bras-bu ji-snyed yod-pa dang / sman-gyi-rnam-pa gang-dag yod-pa dang / ’jig-rten rin-chen ji-snyed yod-pa dang / chu-gtsang yid-du-’ong-ba ci-yod dang / rin-chen ri-bo dang ni de-bzhin-du / nags-tshal sa-phyogs dben zhing nyams-dga’ dang / ljon-shing me-tog rgyan-spras spud-pa dang / shing gang ’bras-bzang yal-ga dud-pa dang / lha sogs-’jig-rten na yang dri dang ni spos dang dpag-bsam-shing dang rin-chen-shing / ma-rmos-’khrungs pa’i-lo-tog rnam-pa dang / gzhan-yang mchod-par-’os-pa’i rgyan rnams ni / mtsho dang rdzing-bu pad-mas brgyan-pa dag / ngang-pa shin-tu skad-snyan yid-’ong ldan / nam-mkha’ rab-’byams khams kyi mthas-gtugs-pa / yongs-su-bzung-ba-med-pa de-dag kun / blo-yis-blangs nas thub-pa skyes-kyi-mchog / sras dang-bcas-pa rnams la legs ’bul na / yon-gnas dam-pa thugs-rje-che-rnams kyis / bdag la brtser-dgongs bdag gi ’di-dag bzhes / bdag ni bsod-nams mi ldan bkren chen te / mchod-pa’i nor-gzhan bdag la cang-ma-mchis / des-na gzhan-don dgongs-pa’i mgon gyis ’di / bdag gi don slad nyid kyi mthus bzhes shig / rgyal dang de sras rnams la bdag gis ni / bdag gi lus kun gtan-tu dbul-bar-bgyi / sems-dpa’-mchog rnams bdag ni yongs bzhes shig / gus-pas khyed kyi ’bangs-su-mchi-bar-bgyi / [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] .

And furthermore. think kindly of me. To the victor and his sons I shall constantly offer all my bodies. Accept these (offerings) with (your) powers for my own sake. wish-granting trees and jewel trees. Not being endowed with merit. I shall be your respectful subject. Fragrances in the realms of gods and the like. (I) present offerings in an excellent way to the tathāgatas. remote and joyful places. Sacred recipients of gifts. Creating these in my mind. Within the reaches of infinite space. Whatever flowers and fruits there are And whatever kinds of medicine. To the sublime dharma. ornaments that are worthy to be offered. Accept these (offerings) of mine. who are an ocean of qualities. bending down the branches. Incense. Wild geese. Supreme heroic beings. Having no other riches to offer. Heavenly trees ornamented and bedecked with flowers As well as trees (laden with) beautiful fruits. Lakes and pools adorned with lotuses. please accept me completely. All these. Therefore. Whatever jewels exist in this world And whatever clean and pleasing waters there are.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 7 [1] In order to adopt this precious bodhicitta. protector. I am destitute. which do not belong to an owner. Untilled and naturally grown crops. Jewel mountains and likewise Forests. endowed with most beautiful voices. the supreme being. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] . the immaculate jewel. together with his sons. And to the sons of the buddhas. I offer them in an excellent way To the Muni. great compassionate ones. you who care (only) for the welfare of others.

8 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [9] bdag ni khyed kyis yongs-su-bzung-bas na / srid na mi ’jigs sems-can phan-par-bgyid / sngon gyi sdig-las yang-dag ’da’ bgyid cing / sdig-pa gzhan yang slan-chad mi bgyid do / [10] khrus-kyi-khang-pa shin-tu dri-zhim-pa / shel-gyi-sa-gzhi gsal zhing ’tsher-ba bstar / rin-chen ’bar-ba’i ka-ba yid ’ong-ldan / mu-tig ’od-chags bla-re bres-pa der / [11] de-bzhin-gshegs-pa dang de yi sras rnams la / rin-chen-bum-pa mang-po spos-kyi-chu / yid ’ong legs-par bkang-ba glu dang ni / rol-mor bcas-pa du-mas sku-khrus-gsol / [12] de-dag sku la mtshungs-pa-med-pa’i gos / gtsang la dri rab-bsgom-pas sku-phyi’o / de-nas de la kha-dog legs bsgyur-ba’i / na-bza’ shin-tu dri-zhim dam-pa ’bul / [13] gos-bzang srab la ’jam-pa sna-tshogs dang / rgyan-mchog brgya-phrag de dang de-dag gis / ’phags-pa kun-tu-bzang dang ’jam-dbyangs dang / ’jig-rten-dbang-phyug sogs la’ang brgyan-par-bgyi / [14] stong-gsum kun-tu dri-ngad ldang-ba yi / dri-mchog rnams kyis thub-dbang kun gyi sku / gser-sbyangs btso-ma byi-dor-byas-pa ltar / ’od-chags ’bar-ba de-dag byug-par-bgyi / [15] thub-dbang mchod-gnas mchog la yid-’ong-ba’i / me-tog man-da-ra dang pad-ma dang / ut-pal la-sogs dri-zhim thams-cad dang / phreng-ba spel-legs yid-’ong rnams kyis mchod / [16] spos-mchog yid-’phrog dri-ngad khyab-pa yi / bdug-pa’i sprin-tshogs rnams kyang de la ’bul / zhal-zas bza’-btung sna-tshogs bcas-pa yi / lha-bshol rnams kyang de la dbul-bar-bgyi / .

the supreme objects for offerings. Aglow with pearls. Lokeśvara and others. Including a variety of food and drink. level crystal floors. canopies are hanging. . Endowed with exquisite pillars ablaze with gems. I shall benefit sentient beings without fearing saṃsāric existence. Accompanied by various songs and music. [10] (In) very sweetly scented bathing pavilions (With) luminous and sparkling. [16] I also offer (the victors and their sons) cloud banks of incense that spreads A supreme scent of sweet fragrance. lotus. I adorn the noble Samantabhadra. So that they glow and sparkle in their luster. there [11] I offer bathing to the tathāgatas and their sons With many precious vases. fine and smooth. [15] To the lords of the sages. And I present them royal delicacies. [13] With each and every one (of the many) hundreds of excellent ornaments And various noble garments. Such as māndāravā-flower. sweetly fragrant. I offer every (variety of) beautiful flowers. well-arranged garlands. Mañjughoṣa. captivating the mind.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 9 [9] When I am completely cared for by you. utpal and others As well as beautiful. [12] I dry their bodies with incomparable cloths. And then I present them excellent things. I anoint the bodies of all lords of the sages with supreme perfumes Of scented fragrances permeating all ‘third order of a thousand (world systems)’. I shall perfectly transcend my previous negative deeds And furthermore shall not commit wicked deeds in the future. Clean and well-powdered with scent. Garments of colors well-dyed. Properly filled with pleasant scented water. (powdered with) most sublime sweet-smelling fragrance. [14] Just like polishing cleaned and refined gold.

10 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [17] gser gyi pad-ma tshar-du-dngar-ba yi / rin-chen sgron-me rnams kyang dbul-bar-bgyi / sa-gzhi bstar-ba spos kyis byugs-pa der / me-tog yid-’ong sil-ma dkram-par-bgyi / [18] gzhal-med pho-brang bstod-dbyangs yid-‘ong-ldan / mu-tig rin-chen rgyan-’phyang mdzes ’bar-ba / dpag-yas nam-mkha’i rgyan-gyur de-dag kyang / thugs-rje’i-rang-bzhin-can la dbul-bar-bgyi / [19] rin chen gdugs mdzes gser gyi yu ba can / khor yug rgyan gyi rnam pa yid ’ong brgyan / dbyibs legs lta na sdug pa bsgreng ba yang / rtag tu thub dbang rnams la dbul bar bgyi / [20] de las gzhan yang mchod-pa’i-tshogs rol-mo dbyangs snyan yid’ong-ldan / sems-can sdug-bsngal sim-byed-pa’i / sprin rnams so-sor gnas-gyur-cig / [21] dam-chos dkon-mchog thams-cad dang / mchod-rten rnams dang sku-gzugs la / rin-chen me-tog la-sogs char / rgyun-mi-‘chad-par ’bab-par-shog / [22] ji-ltar ’jam-dbyangs la-sogs-pas / rgyal-ba rnams la mchod mdzad-pa / de-bzhin bdag gis de-bzhin-gshegs / mgon-po sras dang-bcas rnams mchod / [23] yon-tan rgya-mtsho rnams la bdag bstod-dbyangs yan-lag rgya-mtsho bstod / bstod-dbyangs snyan-sprin de-dag la / nges-par kun-tu ’byung-gyur-cig / [24] dus-gsum-gshegs-pa’i-sangs-rgyas kun / chos dang tshogs-kyi-mchog bcas la / zhing-rdul kun gyi grangs-snyed kyi / lus-btud-pas ni bdag phyag-’tshal / .

their excellent shapes are beautiful to behold. On a level floor anointed with perfume. flowers and the like Continuously descend Upon all sublime jewels of dharma And upon stūpas and images. [22] In the same way as Mañjughoṣa and others Have made offerings to the victors. Serving as an adornment for immeasurable space. . Soothing the misery of beings. May clouds of lovely melodies of praise Actually ascend to them at all times.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 11 [17] I offer precious lamps Arranged in rows upon golden lotuses. Similarly I present offerings to the tathāgatas. [19] I constantly offer to the lords of the sages Precious and lovely parasols with golden handles And exquisite ornamental designs embellishing the rims. [23] I praise the oceans of qualities With an ocean of variations of melodious eulogies. Bowing down with bodies as numerous As all the atoms in the buddha fields. I scatter petals of lovely flower blossoms. To the dharma and the supreme among gatherings. [24] To all buddhas who appear throughout the three times. [21] May a rain of gems. The protectors and their sons. [20] In addition. Hoisted. may masses of offerings Endowed with sweet and pleasing melodies of musical instruments Each remain as (offering) clouds. [18] To those who have the nature of compassion I offer also these unfathomable palaces endowed with beautiful melodies of praise. Exquisitely radiating. I pay respect. bedecked with ornaments of pearls and gems.

12 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [25] byang-chub-sems kyi gzhi rnams dang / mchod-rten rnams la bdag phyag-‘tshal / mkhan-po de-bzhin slob-dpon dang / brtul-zhugs-mchog la phyag-’tshal-lo / [26] byang-chub-snying-por mchis-kyi-bar / sangs-rgyas rnams la skyabs-su-mchi / chos dang byang-chub-sems-dpa' yi / tshogs la’ang de-bzhin skyabs-su-mchi / [27] phyogs rnams kun na bzhugs-pa yi / rdzogs-sangs-rgyas dang byang-chub-sems / thugs-rje-chen-po-mnga’-rnams la / thal-mo-sbyar-te gsol-ba ni / [28] thog ma med ldan ’khor ba nas / tshe rabs ’di’am gzhan dag tu / bdag gis ma 'tshal sdig bgyis pa’am / bgyid du stsal ba nyid dang ni / [29] gti-mug ’khrul-pas bdag non te / rjes-su-yi-rang gang bgyis-pa / nongs-pa de ni mthong-bgyis nas bsam-pa-thag-pas mgon la bshags / [30] bdag gis dkon-mchog-gsum dang ni / pha-ma’am bla-ma gzhan-dag la / nyon-mongs sgo-nas lus ngag dang / yid kyis gnod-bgyis gang lags-pa / [31] nyes-pa du-mas skyon-chags-pa’i / sdig-can bdag gis sdig-pa gang / shin-tu mi-bzad bgyis-pa de / thams-cad-’dren-pa rnams la bshags / [32] bdag ni sdig pa ma byang bar / sngon-du ’gum-par-’gyur du mchi / ji-ltar ’di las nges thar-bar / myur-ba’i tshul-gyis bskyab-tu-gsol / .

Joining my palms. I pay respect. [27] Perfect buddhas and bodhisattvas. from the depth of my heart. I go for refuge to the dharma And to the gathering of bodhisattvas. To the three jewels.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 13 [25] To the basis of bodhicitta And to (all) stūpas I pay respect. With body. (even) the most intolerable acts. the wicked one— (To whose mind) the stains of various mistakes cling— Have committed. speech and mind. Ignorantly I committed negative deeds. I beseech you thus: [28] Throughout beginningless saṃsāra In this lifetime and in others. Likewise. Recognizing this as a fault. protectors. [32] I may well come to perish Before my wicked deeds have been purified. Incited (others) to commit them and. Endowed with great compassion. to the preceptors and to the teachers As well as to the supreme practitioners. I rejoiced (in negativity). Likewise. [31] Whatever negative deeds I. . My father. What then will liberate me with certainty from these? Please grant me your protection in a swift manner. I confess them to the guides of all. [29] Overwhelmed by the delusion of ignorance. [26] I go for refuge to the buddhas Until I attain the essence of awakening. Whichever of these (deeds) I have done. mother. teachers and others. I confess to you. [30] Whatever harm I have done due to my afflictions. Residing in all directions.

14 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [33] yid-brtan mi-rung ’chi-bdag ’di / byas dang ma byas mi sdod-pas / na dang mi na kun gyis kyang / glo-bur tshe la yid-mi-brtan / [34] thams cad bor te chas dgos par / bdag gis de ltar ma shes pas / mdza’ dang mi mdza’i don gyi phyir / sdig pa rnam pa sna tshogs byas / [35] mi-mdza’ rnams kyang med-’gyur zhing / mdza’-ba rnams kyang med-par-’gyur / bdag kyang med-par-’gyur-ba ste / de-bzhin thams-cad med-par-’gyur / [36] rmi-lam nyams-su-myong-ba bzhin / dngos-po gang-dang-gang spyad-pa / de de dran-pa’i-yul-du-‘gyur / ’das-pa thams-cad mthong-mi-’gyur / [37] re-zhig gson-tshe ’di-nyid la’ang / mdza’ dang mi-mdza’ du-ma ’das / de-dag don-du byas-pa’i sdig / mi-bzad gang-yin mdun-na-gnas / [38] de-ltar bdag ni glo-bur zhes / bdag gis rtogs-pas ma gyur-pas / gti-mug chags dang zhe-sdang gis / sdig-pa rnam-pa du-ma byas / [39] nyin mtshan sdod-pa yong-med-par / tshe-’di rtag-tu god-’gyur zhing / snon-pa gud-nas ’ong-med na / bdag lta ’chi-bar cis-mi-’gyur / [40] bdag ni mal na ’dug bzhin-du / gnyen-bshes kun gyis mtha’-bskor kyang / srog-’chad-pa yi tshor-ba dag / bdag-nyid gcig-pus myong-bar-’gyur / .

[37] Even within this very life. [35] Foes will cease to be. . And since (life) is never getting any longer. leaving all behind. Friends will cease to be. Have committed various kinds of negative deeds For the sake of friends and foes. Likewise. [38] Thus. I alone will experience The feeling of life being severed. no one. (whether your tasks) are completed or not completed. everything will cease to be. Many friends and foes have passed. I too will cease to be. as I did not realize That I am ephemeral. not understanding this. (The karmic ripening of these deeds) remains ahead of me. Should place his trust in this fleeting life. Why would death not come to one like me? [40] While I am lying in bed. [34] One must depart (alone). Whatever things I have enjoyed Have become a (mere) object of memory of ‘this and that’. But whatever unbearable negative deeds I committed for their sake. neither the ill nor the healthy. But I. [39] Remaining neither day nor night. Even though (I am) surrounded by my friends and relatives. [36] Just like an experience in a dream. This life is constantly slipping away. I committed many forms of negative deeds Out of ignorance. while I am briefly alive. I will not see (again) anything that has passed. attachment and aversion.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 15 [33] This unreliable (Māra of) Death Will not wait. Therefore.

16 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [41] gshin-rje’i-pho-nyas zin-pa la / gnyen gyis ci-phan bshes ci-phan / de-tshe bsod-nams gcig skyabs na / de-yang bdag gis ma bsten to / [42] mgon-po bag-med bdag gis ni / ’jigs-pa ’di-’dra ma ’tshal nas / mi-rtag tshe-’di’i-ched-dag-tu / sdig-pa mang-po nye-bar-bsgrubs / [43] skye-po yan-lag-gcod-pa’i-sar / de-ring khrid-pa’ang bred-’gyur te / kha-skam mig-rtsa-ngan la-sogs / snga-las-gzhan-du-’gyur snang na / [44] gshin-rje’i-pho-nya ’jigs-’jigs lta’i / sha-tshugs-can gyis bzung-gyur cing / ’jigs-chen nad-kyis-thebs-gyur pa / rab-tu nyam-thag smos-ci-dgos / [45] su-zhig ’jigs-chen ’di las bdag / legs-par skyob-par-byed-’gyur zhes / bred-sha-thon-pa’i mig-bgrad nas / phyogs-bzhir skyabs dag tshol-bar-byed / [46] phyogs-bzhir skyabs-med mthong nas ni / de-nas kun-tu yi-mug-’gyur / gnas der skyabs yod-ma-yin na / de-tshe bdag gis ji-ltar bya / [47] de-bas rgyal-ba ’gro-ba’i-mgon / ’gro-ba skyob-pa’i don-brtson-pa / stobs-chen ’jigs-pa kun sel la / de-ring-nyid-nas skyabs-su-mchi / [48] de yi thugs-su-chud-pa’i chos / ’khor-ba’i-’jigs-pa sel-ba dang / byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs la yang / de-bzhin yang-dag skyabs-su-mchi / .

Who strives to shelter all beings And with great power eradicates all fear. [48] To the dharma he has realized. [44] Then needless to mention (my) tremendous despair When taken by the physical forms Of the fearsome looking messengers of the Lord of Death. . who are led today To the place where their limbs will be amputated. [46] Seeing no refuge in the four quarters I will become completely depressed. When (I am thus) stricken with the disease of great panic. But upon that I have never relied. are petrified. And also to the assembly of bodhisattvas.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 17 [41] When captured by the messengers of the Lord of Death. from today onward I go for refuge To the Victor. [43] If those people. [45] Who can really protect me From this great horror? With eyes gaping in an expression of terror I will search the four quarters for refuge. Then what should I do at that time? [47] Therefore. so heedless. Unaware of such terror as this. [42] Protectors! I. Which clears away the fears of saṃsāra. With parched mouths and glazed eyes. the protector of beings. I genuinely go for refuge in the same manner. Appearing different than before. Committed many a negative deed For the sake of this transient life. If there is no refuge on that occasion. What benefit will relatives afford? What benefit will friends afford? At that time (my) merit should protect me.

ba / spyan-ras-gzigs-mgon de la yang / nyam-thag nga-ros ’o-dod-’bod / sdig-ldan bdag la bskyab-tu-gsol / [51] ’phags-pa nam-mkha’i-snying-po la / sa-yi-snying-po dag dang ni / thugs-rje-che-mgon thams-cad la / skyabs-tshol snying-nas ’o-dod-’bod / [52] gang-zhig mthong nas gshin-rje yi / pho-nya la-sogs sdang-ba rnams / skrag nas phyogs-bzhir ’byer-byed-pa / rdo-rje-can la’ang skyabs-su-mchi / [53] sngon-chad khyed kyi bka’-las-’das / da ni ’jigs-pa-che mthong nas / khyed la skyabs-su-mchi lags kyis / ’jigs-pa myur-du bsal-du-gsol / [54] tha-mal nad kyis ’jigs na-yang / sman-pa’i-ngag-bzhin bya dgos na / ’dod-chags la-sogs nyes brgya yi / nad kyis rtag btab smos-ci-dgos / [55] de gcig gis kyang ’dzam-gling na / gnas-pa’i mi kun brlag-byed na / de-dag gso-ba’i-sman gzhan ni / phyogs rnams kun-nas mi rnyed na [56] de la sman-pa thams-cad mkhyen / zug-ngu thams-cad ’byin-pa yi / bka’ ltar mi byed sems-pa ni / shin-tu gti-mug smad-pa’i-gnas / .18 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [49] bdag ni ’jigs-pas rnam-skrag nas / kun-tu-bzang la bdag-nyid ’bul / ’jam-pa’i-dbyangs la’ang bdag-nyid kyis / bdag gi lus ’di dbul-bar-bgyi / [50] thugs-rje’i-spyod-pa ma-’khrul.

[56] Then concerning this. And if no other medicine to cure these Can be found in any quarter. “Please grant me. I let out a lamentation of mournful crying. 4 Vajrī [rdo rje can] means ‘having a vajra’ and refers to Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. the wicked one. [55] If all people living in Jambudvīpa Can be destroyed by just one of these (diseases of afflictions). I go for refuge to you. crying out in lamentation from my heart. and In all protectors of great compassion I seek refuge. Please swiftly clear away (these) fears. [53] Previously.4 The sight of whom frightens (all) hateful ones. those who have the intention to disregard The advice of the omniscient physician That can uproot all misery Are extremely ignorant and deserve to be criticized. In Kṣitigarbha. protection!” [51] In the noble Ākāśagarbha. Such as the messengers of the Lord of Death. [52] I go for refuge to Vajrī. catching sight of great terror. Then no need to mention (that I must heed the Buddha) when perpetually infected With diseases of hundreds of misdeeds such as desire and so forth. [54] If I must comply with a physician’s advice When frightened by a common disease. And causes them to flee in terror to the four quarters. Now.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 19 [49] Utterly panicking with fear. . I ignored your teaching. [50] Also to the protector Avalokita. Whose compassionate conduct is without delusion. To Mañjughoṣa as well I myself offer this body of mine. I Offer myself to Samantabhadra.

yangs-sar smos-ci-dgos / [58] de-ring kho-na mi ’chi zhes / bde-bar ’dug-pa rigs-ma-yin / bdag ni med-par-’gyur-ba’i dus / de ni gdon-mi-zar-bar ‘gyur / [59] bdag la mi ’jigs su-yis byin / ’di las ji-ltar nges-thar-’gyur / gdon-mi-za-bar med-’gyur na / ci’i-phyir bdag yid-bde-bar ’dug / [60] sngon chad myong ste zhig pa las / bdag la lhag pa ci yod na / bdag ni de la mngon zhen nas / bla ma'i bka' dang 'gal bar byas / [61] gson-tshe ’di dang de-bzhin-du / gnyen dang bshes-pa rnams spangs nas / gcig-pu ga-shed ’gro dgos na / mdza’ dang mi-mdza’ kun ci-rung / [62] mi dge ba las sdug bsngal ’byung / de las ji ltar nges thar zhes / nyin mtshan rtag tu bdag gis ni / ’di nyid ’ba’ zhig bsam pa’i rigs / [63] bdag ni mi-shes gti-mug-pas / rang-bzhin-kha-na-ma-tho’am / bcas-pa’i-sdig-pa gang-yin las / gang-yang-rung-ba bgyis-pa rnams / [64] mgon-po’i spyan-sngar mngon-sum-du / thal-sbyar sdug-bsngal ’jigs-sems kyis / yang-dang-yang-du phyag-’tshal te / de-dag thams-cad bshags-par-bgyi / .yang-sa tha-mal chung-ngu la’ang / bag-yod gnas-par-bya dgos na / dpag-tshad stong du ltung-ba yi / yun-ring g.20 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [57] g.

[58] It is unreasonable to rest easy Thinking. And have disregarded my guru’s advice. Among (all) unreported misdeeds of (violating) natural laws Or all negative deeds of (breaking) established rules. Confessing all these (misdeeds). About this alone. What use are all my friends and enemies? [62] Since from non-virtuous actions suffering will arise. “Today. I prostrate again and again. How can I surely free (my mind) from these? Thinking constantly. [61] As I must abandon this life and in the same way My relatives and friends When I must go alone to an uncertain destination. which has (not already) vanished? Nevertheless. [63] Whatever I may have done Due to ignorance and stupidity. at least. With palms joined and mind terrified by the misery (to come). [59] Who can assure me (that I need) not fear? How can I be surely freed from this (fear of dying)? If I will inevitably become nothing. is (most) appropriate.” For inevitably the time will come When I shall become nothing. ordinary drop. [64] In the direct sight of the protectors. day and night. . I am clearly attached to these (pleasures). I shall not die. (where I have to remain) for a long time. How can my mind rest at ease? [60] Is there anything that remains with me From what I experienced before.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 21 [57] If I must remain heedful (When approaching) even a small. Then how much more so (when in fear of falling) into a chasm That drops thousands of leagues.

22 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two [65] ’dren-pa rnams kyis bdag gi sdig / nongs-pa lags-par gzung-du-gsol / ’di ni bzang-po ma lags-pas / slan-chad bdag ni yong mi bgyid / byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-spyod-pa-la-’jug-pa las / sdig-pa-bshags-pa’i-le’u ste gnyispa’o // .

the second. . From the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra.Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two 23 [65] I beseech the guides (of the world) To accept me as I am. From now on I shall never repeat them. at fault due to my negative deeds. Since these (negative deeds) are not good. the chapter on Confessing Negativity.

24 Śāntideva’s root text / chapter two .

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 25 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary on the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra Chapter Two Confessing Negative Deeds Tibetan and English .

26 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [66] le’u gnyis-pa sdig-pa-bshags-pa’i-le’u la / gzhung dang / mtshan no // dang-po la / mchod-pa-‘bul-ba’i-yan-lag / phyag-‘tshal-ba’i-yan-lag / skyabs-su-‘gro-ba’i-yan-lag / sdig-pa-bshags-pa’i-yan-lag dang bzhi las / [67] dang-po la / dngos-su-‘byor-ba’i-mchod-pa / yid-kyis-sprul-pa’i-mchod-pa / smon- lam-stobs-kyis-mchod-pa / bla-na-med-pa’i-mchod-pa / bstod-pa-dbyangs-kyimchod-pa dang lnga las / [68] dang-po la / bdag-pos-yongs-su-bzung-ba’i-mchod-pa / bdag-pos-yongs-su-ma- bzung-ba’i-mchod-pa / lus-‘bul-ba’i-mchod-pa dang gsum las / [69] dang-po ni / yon-tan-gyi-khyad-par de-lta-bu dang-ldan-pa’i rin-chen-byang-chub- kyi-sems de rgyu-med rkyen-med du mi ‘byung-bas rgyu-tshogs tshang dgos la / deyang mgon-po-klu-sgrub kyis tshogs-rdzogs-pa dang / thogs-med kyis sems dvangspa zhig gi rgyud la byang-chub-kyi-sems skye-bar gsungs shing / tshogs-bsags-pa thams-cad-kyi-mchog mchod-pa yin zhing mchod-pa rnam-dag zhig bshams-pas sems dvangs-par yang ‘gyur ro // [70] de’i-phyir sngon mnyam-med jo-bo-rjer bod kyis sems-bskyed-zhus-pa na mchod-pa bshoms gsungs / bshams-pa na ‘di-‘dras-mi-‘ong-gsungs nas ma gnang / yang bsham-pa la’ang de-ltar gsung / yang de-bas-cher bshams-pa na ‘ong-tsam-gsungs nas gzod-gnang-bas na mchod-pa gal-che’o / [71] des-na rang la yod kyi longs-spyod cha-gsum-du-byas-pa’i cha-gcig rang gi ‘tsho-ba’i cha rkyen-du-bzhag nas cha-gnyis dkon-mchog gi mchod-par-sbyor dgos-par gsungs / inserted root text : stanza 1 rin-chen-sems de gzung-bar-bya-ba’i phyir / de-bzhin-gshegs-pa rnams dang dam-pa’i-chos / dkon-mchog dri-ma-med dang sangs-rgyas-sras / yon-tan rgya-mtsho rnams la legs-par mchod / [72] mchod-pa de yang-dag-pa-rnam-pa-gsum gyi sgo-nas mchod dgos te / bsam-pa-dag- pa ni / rin-chen-byang-chub-kyi-sems de rang-rgyud la bzung-ba’am bskyed-parbya-ba’i phyir ram ched-du ‘bul-ba’o / / .

” When they had set them up he said. the section on going for refuge. “In the stream of a pure mind bodhicitta will be born. unexcelled offerings. the chapter on confessing negative deeds. and offerings of melodious praise. “That won’t do.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 27 [66] The second chapter. and by arranging a perfect offering. Therefore. when in former times Tibetans requested the incomparable Lord Atiśa to give the bodhicitta (precepts). [68] Of these. who are an ocean of qualities. When they had set (the offerings) up again.” inserted root text: stanza 1 In order to adopt this precious bodhicitta. After they had arranged even more offerings than before he said. the immaculate jewel. he answered. Offerings that belong to an owner [69] Of these. I present (offerings). The section on presenting offerings [67] Of these. your mind will become pure. offerings are very important. . “Dividing all the goods you possess into three parts.” and did not give (the precepts). and the section on confessing negative deeds. [72] The offerings must be presented with the three-fold purity. the section on paying respect. In this regard. “This will barely do” and gave his consent reluctantly. [70] For that reason. (I ) present offerings in an excellent way to the tathāgatas.” The supreme (method) among all (forms of) gathering the accumulations is to present offerings. offerings that do not belong to an owner.” and Asaðga stated. And to the sons of the buddhas. “Set up offerings. [71] That is why (Atiśa) said. has two (parts): the text and its title. The first (part) has four (sections): the section on presenting offerings. offerings that are mentally created. To the sublime dharma. the first section has five (parts): offerings that are actually assembled. you should set aside one part as a condition for your own livelihood and use two parts as an offering to the (three) jewels. (1) The pure motivation: In order to adopt or generate this precious bodhicitta in my mind. offerings (made) through the power of aspirations. the first has three (parts): offerings that belong to an owner. he said the same thing. you need to complete the accumulation of its causes. “You need to perfect the accumulations. Lord Nāgārjuna said. and offerings of presenting one’s body. the first: Since this precious bodhicitta which is endowed with such special qualities does not arise without causes or conditions.

28 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [73] zhing-dag-pa ni / chos-nyid de-bzhin-nyid dang rjes-su-mthun-par gshegs-pa sangs- rgyas bcom-ldan-‘das rnams dang / gang-zhig gang-gis chags-bral-ba // bden-gnyis mtshan-nyid-can de chos // chags-bral-nyid ni ‘gog-pa dang // lam-gyi-bden-pa dag-gis bsdus // zhes gsungs-pa ltar / [74] gang-gis chags-pa-dang-bral-bar-byed-pa lam-gyi-bden-pa dang / gang chags-pa- dang-bral-ba ‘gog-pa’i-bden-pa ste dam-pa’i-chos dkon-mchog dri-ma-med-pa dang / sangs-rgyas-kyi-sras byang-chub-sems-dpa’ rnams sa-dang-po thob tshe yontan-brgya-phrag-bcu-gnyis / gnyis-par stong-phrag-bcu-gnyis la-sogs-pa’i yon-tanrgya-mtsho lta-bu’i bdag-nyid-can rnams la / [75] dngos-po-dag-pa ni / legs-par te rgyu-bzang-ba spus-gtsang-ba bkod-legs-pa ste / de- yang rgyu-bzang-ba log-‘tsho dang sdig-pas ma sgrubs / nga-rgyal dang ngom-chos su ma song / ser-sna dang ‘jur-‘gegs kyis ma bcing-ba dang / gtsang-sgra dang bcaspas spus-gtang-ba rang-la-yod-tshod kyi dngos-po gang-legs gang-gces gang-dkon-pa des mchod na ser-sna’i-gnyen-por yang ‘gro / [76] gzhan-du thud-kyi-sngo-sa dang lo-ma’i-ser-sa sogs kyis mchod na bsod-nams-‘dzad- pa’i rgyur-‘gro-bas mi-rung ngo // bkod-legs-pa ste mtho-dman-med-par khadsnyoms-pa / yo-‘khyogs-med-par drang-ba / bdun-tshar sogs byi-dor-byas-pa / legspar-bkang-ba zhig dgos kyi / chu sogs kyis ma khengs na longs-spyod-dbul-ba’inyes-pa dang / phyir-bos na tshul-khrims-‘chal-ba’i-nyes-pa ‘byung zhing / yon-chab tu mchod-nas-‘thor-bas skran-nad ‘byung-ba sogs skyon dang bral-bar bshams ste mchod dgos so // [77] gnyis-pa ni / phyogs-bcu’i ’jig-rten-gyi-khams su mkho-dgu’i dpal-‘byor rang gis mthong thos gang-yod ’bul-ba ste / ’di-dag gi rnam-pa yid-la-dran-pa’am ming-tsam mam de-dang-de-lta-bu yod-pas ’bul-ba yin no snyam-pas chog la / .

Offerings that do not belong to an owner [77] Second: Offer all desirable riches. they should be in perfect condition. without being out of line. As it is said (in the Uttara-tantra): That which is and that which frees one from craving Is the dharma. the immaculate jewel. [74] (I present offerings to) that which frees one from craving. you should present offerings by arranging them without mistakes. offering moldy cheese or withered leaves and the like is inappropriate as it will form the cause for your merit to dwindle. i. nor should they be fettered by miserliness or malevolence. the truth of the path. and to that which is free from craving. And (I present offerings) to the sons of the buddhas. ’those who have gone in accord with the natural state as it is’. it leads to the rise of tumors and the like. without (any) being higher or lower. twelve thousand on (reaching) the second. The seven offering bowls and the like should be wiped and cleaned. who are the embodiments of an ocean of qualities. (The offerings) should not serve pride or pretentiousness. the noble substances should not be acquired through wrong livelihood or wicked deeds.e. such as being endowed with one thousand two hundred qualities once they have reached the first bhumi. clean and excellently displayed. meaning (they should be laid out) evenly. most cherished and most rare of all the things you possess. For example. the bodhisattvas.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 29 [73] (2) The pure object: (I present offerings to) the buddhas. If you offer the most excellent. Free from craving. the bhagavāns. this leads to the defect of losing one’s wealth. They should be properly filled since. [75] (3) The pure substance: In an excellent way means (the offerings) should be of noble substance. Washed and wiped. “I will offer all things that I can think of. (The offerings should be) excellently displayed. then (the offerings) will suffice as a remedy for miserliness. marked with the twofold truth. the truth of cessation. the sublime dharma. If (the water) spills out. it leads to the defect of losing one’s discipline. They should be straight. and so forth. the tathāgatas. It is alright to think.” . can merely name or that exist. If you (carelessly) throw consecrated rice in the water bowls. all that you see or hear in the expanse of the world systems of the ten directions. Furthermore. it contains the truth of cessation And the truth of the path. if they are not properly filled with water and other (substances). [76] Furthermore.

30 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 2 me-tog ’bras-bu ji-snyed yod-pa dang / sman-gyi-rnam-pa gang-dag yod-pa dang / 'jig-rten rin-chen ji-snyed yod-pa dang / chu-gtsang yid-du-’ong-ba ci-yod dang / [78] de-yang dngos-po gang-dang-gang ’bul na dag-pa’i-zhing dang lha-klu-mi sogs mtha’-yas-pa’i zhing rnams su pad-ma-dkar-po dang manda-ra dang utpal la-sogs-pa chu dang thang las skyes-pa’i me-tog ji-snyed yod-pa dang bilva dang a-smra dang nas ’bras gro la-sogs-pa ’bras-bu ji-snyed yod-pa dang / sman-gyi-rgyal-po-gi-vang dang bzang-drug sogs la sman-rtsi sman-rdo sman-ldum sman-gyi-rnam-pa’am rigssu-gtogs-pa gang-dag yod-pa dang / ’jig-rten-gyi-khams na dgos-’dod-kun-’byunggi-yid-bzhin-gyi-nor-bu-rin-po-che dang / vaiḍūrya dang / indra-nī-la la-sogs pa’i rin-chen gang ji-snyed yod-pa dang / [79] mdo las / bsil dang zhim dang yang dang ’jam // dvangs-ba’i chu ni dri-ma-med // ’thung na lto la mi gnod cing // mgrin-pa la ni mi gnod-pa// zhes yan-lag-brgyad-ldan-gyi-chu mtsho-ma-dros-pa dang de’i phyogs-bzhi nas shar gang-ga / lho sin-dhū / nub pakṣu / byang si-ta ste kha-’bab-kyi-chu-bo-chen-pobzhi dang rol-pa’i-mtsho-bdun la-sogs-pa chu gtsang-ma yid-du-’ong-ba ci-yod dang / mnyam-med-jo-bos kyang bod ’dir chu legs-pas ’di-nyid gcig-pu’i tshogs-bsags kyang chog ces gsungs / inserted root text: stanza 3 rin-chen ri-bo dang ni de-bzhin-du / nags-tshal sa-phyogs dben zhing nyams-dga’ dang / ljon-shing me-tog rgyan-spras spud-pa dang / shing gang ’bras-bzang yal-ga dud-pa dang / [80] rin-chen-sna-bzhi las grub-pa’i ri’i-rgyal-po-ri-rab dang gser-gyi-ri-bdun la-sogs-pa’i ri-bo dang ni de-bzhin-du nags-tshal gyi mthongs zhes mtha’ tsan-dan sogs kyis bskor-ba’i dben-gnas nyams-dga’-ba dang / .

And I offer whatever clean and pleasing waters there are. And (I offer) whatever forms or kinds of medicine. remote and joyful places. if I offer all things that exist. like the seven pleasure pools (on Mount Sumeru). the mango fruit or barley. Which when drinking neither harms the stomach Nor harms the throat. “The water in Tibet is so excellent that by offering this (water) alone the accumulations can be gathered. the water of lake Manasarovar and the four great rivers that spring from (different) mouths on its four sides: Gaðga to the east. medicine such as the king of all medicines. Mount Sumeru. such as the white lotus. (I offer) the precious wish-fulfilling jewel that grants all that is needed and wanted in this world. (I offer) whatever fruits there are. Pure water free from impurity. (I offer) remote and beautiful places called forest clearings. (I offer) water endowed with eight qualities.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 31 inserted root text: stanza 2 Whatever flowers and fruits there are And whatever kinds of medicine. such as the bilwa fruit.” inserted root text: stanza 3 Jewel mountains and likewise Forests. Heavenly trees ornamented and bedecked with flowers As well as trees (laden with) beautiful fruits. nāgas and humans. Sindhu to the south. I offer whatever jewels exist such as beryl. made out of four jewels and the seven golden mountains. then (I offer) whatever flowers might grow in the pure realms or in the (impure) realms of gods. Even the incomparable Lord (Atiśa) remarked. rice and wheat. and others. medicinal stones or medicinal plants. [80] (I offer) mountains like the king of all mountains. bending down the branches. gorochana and the six excellent substances. tasty. And likewise. sapphire. the mandāravā flower or the utpal lotus. which are encircled by sandalwood trees and the like. [78] Furthermore. . Vakṣu to the west and Sītā to the north. [79] As it is said in a sūtra: Cooling. and soft. Thus. light. Whatever jewels exist in this world And whatever clean and pleasing waters there are. in water or on a meadow.

yu-yi-mdog ltar ljang-ba la-sogs-pas mdzes-pa’i spu-sdugngoms shing shin-tu snyan-pa’i skad-snyan-sgrogs-pa yid-du-’ong-ba dang-ldan-pa dang / .yu’i-maṇḍal phyis-pa lta-bu la me-tog sna-tshogs bkra-bas mdzes-pa nyin-mo mi’i-rgyu-’grul dang mtshan mo sgra’i-ca-co med-pas dben zhing nyamsdga’-ba rnams dang / ljon-pa’i-shing me-tog kha-dog sna-tshogs-pa’i rgyan-gyis-spras shing spud-pa ste phra-tshom-bkod-pa ltar mdzes-pa dang / shing gang-zhig rgun’brum la-sogs-pa kha-dog dang dri ro phun-sum-tshogs-pa’i ’bras-bu bzang la mangba’i ljid kyis yal-ga rnams dud-pa ste dma’-bar-’dug-pa dang / inserted root text: stanza 4 lha sogs-’jig-rten na yang dri dang ni spos dang dpag-bsam-shing dang rin-chen-shing / ma-rmos-’khrungs pa’i-lo-tog rnam-pa dang / gzhan-yang mchod-par-’os-pa’i rgyan rnams ni / [82] lha klu la-sogs-pa’i ’jig-rten-gyi-khams na yang tsan-dan sa mchog la-sogs-pa’i dri-yi- shing dang ni / a-ga-ru la-sogs-pa’i lhan-skyes dang / sbyar-byung-gi-spos dang / yongs-su-‘du(s)-sa-brtol-kyi-ljon-pa sogs blos-ji-lar-dpag cing bsam-pa thams-cad ’byung-bas dpag-bsam-gyi-shing dang / bde-ba-can-kyi-zhing la-sogs-par gser lasogs-pa’i rin-po-che-sna-bdun las grub-pa la-sogs-pa’i rin-chen sna-tshogs kyi shing dang / gshol-gyis-ma-rmos shing sa-bon-ma-btab-par rang-’khrugs-pa’i ’bras-sā-lu lasogs-pa’i lo-tog gi rnam-pa mang-po dang / de-dag las gzhan-yang re-re-nas brjodkyis-mi-lang-ba’i mchod par-’os-pa’i rgyan-gyi-rnam-grangs ji-snyed yod-pa rnams dang ni / inserted root text: stanza 5 mtsho dang rdzing-bu pad-mas brgyan-pa dag / ngang-pa shin-tu skad-snyan yid-’ong ldan / nam-mkha’ rab-’byams khams kyi mthas-gtugs-pa / yongs-su-bzung-ba-med-pa de-dag kun / [83] grags-pa’i-mtsho-chen-bzhi dang / dri-med-mdangs-ldan g.yu-yi-mtsho la-sogs-pa’i mtsho chen-po kha-dog-sna-lnga padmas-brgyan-pa dang rdzing-bu chung-ngu mang-po padmas-brgyan-pa dang de-dag la ngang-pa dang bzhad la-sogs-pa’i byarigs sna-tshogs dung-gi-mdog ltar dkar-ba / gser-gyi-mdog ltar ser-ba / byu-ru’imdog ltar dmar-ba / g.32 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [81] sa-phyogs g.

fragrance and taste. They are endowed with resounding beautiful voices. All these. such as turquoise lakes. wish-granting trees and jewel trees. inserted root text: stanza 5 Lakes and pools adorned with lotuses.5 as well as manufactured incense. nāgas and the like. untilled. beautiful like mosaic clusters. making them hang low. most melodious and pleasant. and manifold jewel trees. 5 agaru: agallochum. (I offer) great lakes. (I offer) many kinds of crops like salu rice. I offer) any existing number of ornaments that are worthy to be offered but cannot all be individually mentioned. endowed with an immaculate radiance. which do not belong to an owner. [83] (I offer) the four great and famous lakes. and many small pools adorned with lotuses. in addition to these (offerings. and without the sowing of seeds. amyris agallocha . they are remote and joyful. that the weight of their multitude is bending down the branches. endowed with most beautiful voices. like grapes and others. inserted root text: stanza 4 Fragrances in the realms of gods and the like. (I offer) heavenly trees. Wild geese. Untilled and naturally grown crops. which are as white as the color of a conch.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 33 [81] (I offer) places which are like cleansed turquoise maṇḍalas beautified by a display of various flowers. like aloe-wood. ornamented with five-colored lotuses. which are made out of the seven precious substances such as gold and so forth. Within the reaches of infinite space. They are beautified by various kinds of birds such as wild geese and swans. And furthermore. like the pārijāta tree and others. as red as the color of coral and as green as the color of turquoise. and furthermore. which are naturally grown. such as white sandalwood trees. (I offer) naturally arisen substances. which grant all the mind can conceive of or fathom. like those in Sukhāvatī and other fields. Since no streams of people pass by during the daytime and there is no noise at night. [82] (I offer) fragrances of trees which exist in the realms of gods. as yellow as the color of gold. Incense. ornamented and bedecked with flowers of various colors. as well as trees that are so laden with beautiful fruits of perfect color. ornaments that are worthy to be offered. (I offer) wish-granting trees. showing their lovely feathers.

yo-dang-sgyu-med-par phan-par-bzhedpa’i thugs-snying-rje-che-ba rnams kyis bdag-cag la brtser-dgongs zhes thugs-brtseba-chen-pos nye-bar-dgongs te bdag-gi mchod-pa ’di-dag bzhes-par-mdzad-du-gsol zhes so // .34 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [84] shar nyi-zla gnyis kyi sgron-me ’od-lam-me / lho tsan-dan nags-kyi-bdug-spos dri- zhim-thul-le / nub gangs-dkar mar-gyi-lha-bshos dkar-zengs-se / byang rdza-chab sngon-mo’i mchod-yon dvangs-seng-nge-ba la-sogs-pa gang-ji-snyed-yod-pa rnams las / me-tog la-sogs-pa de-dag re-re yang grangs-kyi-khyad-par nam-mkha’-rab’byams-khams-kyi-mthas-gtugs-pa ste tshad-med-pa’i-nam-mkha’i gar-khyab-tukhyab cing yod-pa thams-cad dang / kha-na-ma-tho-ba-med-pa’i-khyad-par bdagpo’i-yongs-su-bzung-ba-med-pa sgra-mi-snyan-pa’i-longs-spyod lta-bu de-dag kun / inserted root text: stanza 6 blo-yis-blangs nas thub-pa skyes-kyi-mchog / sras dang-bcas-pa rnams la legs 'bul na / yon-gnas dam-pa thugs-rje-che-rnams kyis / bdag la brtser-dgongs bdag gi ’di-dag bzhes / [85] sbyor-ba’i-khyad-par blo-yis-blangs nas zhes sems-thog-tu-bzung ste rang gi yin-pa lta-bu’i ’du-shes-bskyed cing phangs-sems-med-par / [86] zhing-gi-khyad-par sku-gsung-thugs-kyi-mdzad-spyod bsrung-ba-med-par-thub-pas thub-pa ’gro-drug las snying-stobs-che-ba’i-skyes-bu rkang-gnyis-mi-rnams-kyimchog sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das sras byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs dang-bcas-pa rnams la legs-par ste rin-chen-byang-chub-kyi-sems rang-rgyud la skye-ba’i don-du ’bul na / [87] yon-yongs-su-sbyong-ba-chen-po ste yon-chung-ngu-tsam phul na ’bras-bu chen-po sbyin-par-mdzad-pa dper-na sangs-rgyas la sran-rdog-bdun phul-bas mi-dbang-ngalas-nu dang bye-ma-spar-gang-gtor-bas chos-rgyal-mya-ngan-med du gyur-pa lta-bu’i yon-gnas-kyi-dam-pa sems-can rnams la g.

white snow mountains of butter as food for the gods. for each individual (offering). Khenpo Kunpal switches to ‘us’ [bdag cag]. and someone else threw a handful of sand (in his begging bowl) and became the Dharma King Aśoka. so that in my mind the precious bodhicitta will be born.” 6 In the Tibetan commentarial text. together with his sons. They are the sacred recipients of gifts. inserted root text: stanza 6 Creating these in my mind. as it says (in the root text): ‘creating these in my mind’. Among all these. the Bhagavān. the supreme being. I offer them in an excellent way To the Muni. together with the assembly of bodhisattvas. For example. as it is the Muni. meaning all there is. who wish to benefit all sentient beings without any deceit. his sons. I offer to all these in an excellent way. such as flowers and so forth. the Buddha. which abound everywhere in the south. such as the light of the sun and of the moon that shines luminously in the east. as far as immeasurable space extends. “These are mine.6 this means.” and (you offer them) without any miserliness. [86] There is a special distinction concerning the object. the pleasant fragrance of incense forests of sandalwood. [87] ‘They are the perfect recipients of gifts’. the supreme among human beings. The special distinction of faultlessness is that all these (offerings) which do not belong to an owner are like the riches of (the continent) Kurava. the great compassionate ones. the special distinction of its quantity is that (it includes) everything that exists within the reaches of infinite space. which glow brightly in the west. the one who is capable of performing the activities of body. think kindly of me. you keep them in your mind. This means. Accept these (offerings) of mine. “Think intimately with great love of me. creating the attitude. I request that you accept these offerings of mine. and waterfalls of blue offering water that are sparkling pure in the north. When it says (in the root text): Think kindly of me.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 35 [84] (I offer) whatever exists. . (a merchant called Udākarika) offered seven peas to the Buddha and became King Māndhāta. speech and mind without being on guard. the being with the greatest courage among the beings of the six classes. meaning they grant great fruition even if you offer only a small gift. Sacred recipients of gifts. great compassionate ones. [85] There is a special distinction concerning the presentation.

36 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 7 bdag ni bsod-nams mi ldan bkren chen te / mchod-pa'i nor-gzhan bdag la cang-ma-mchis / des-na gzhan-don dgongs-pa'i mgon gyis ’di / bdag gi don slad nyid kyi mthus bzhes shig / [88] de-dag ’bul dgos-pa’i rgyu-mtshan bdag ni sngon gyi sbyin-pa la-sogs-pa’i bsod- nams dang mi-ldan-pas tshe-’dir longs-spyod ’bul bas bkren-chen te sprang-po’i nang-nas dbyug-bzung lta-bur ’gyur-pas na mchod-par-’os-pa’i-nor sngar-bstan-pa de-dag las gzhan dngos-su bdag la cung-ma-mchis te med-pa des-na dang-po-thugsbskyed-pa-nas-bzung-ste rang-’dod-med-par sems-can-thams-cad kyi tshogs-rdzogs shing sgrib-pa-dag na ci-ma-rung snyam-pas gzhan-don ’ba’-zhig dgongs-pa’i mgonpo rgyal-ba sras-dang-bcas-pa kun-gyis bdag-pos-yongs-su-ma-bzung-ba’i-mchod-pa ’di rnams dngos-’dzin thams-cad dang-bral-bas khyed la phongs-pa mi mnga’ yang bdag-cag gi tshogs-gnyis-rdzogs shing sgrib-gnyis-dag-pa’i don-gyi-slad-du nyid rnams kyi rdzu-’phrul-gyi-mthus zhing-khams so-so-nas legs-par bzhes-shig ces te [89] de-ltar rang la ’bul-ba’i nus-pa yod na rgyal-ba-sras-bcas la mkhyen-pa dang brtse-ba’i thabs-mkhas dang rdzu-’phrul bsam-gyis-mi-khyab-pa mnga’-ba lags-pas bzhes-parmdzad nas bdag-cag gi tshogs-rdzogs shing sgrib-pa-dag-par yang mdzad-par ’gyur zhes gsungs / inserted root text: stanza 8 rgyal dang de sras rnams la bdag gis ni / bdag gi lus kun gtan-tu dbul-bar-bgyi / sems-dpa’-mchog rnams bdag ni yongs bzhes shig / gus-pas khyed kyi 'bangs-su-mchi-bar-bgyi / .

7 you are not destitute. I offer to you although. I actually have nothing at all. protector. being skillful in wisdom and love and endowed with inconceivable supernatural powers. Consequently. the victor and his sons. Offerings of presenting one’s body [89] If one has the capacity to present offerings in this fashion. Khenpo Kunpal writes ‘our’ [bdag cag]. [88] The reason why these (offerings) must be presented is that. will accept them. Having no other riches to offer. please accept me completely. so that I may perfect my accumulations and purify my obscurations. and who without any selfishness think. ‘clinging to something as truly existing’ [bden par ’dzin pa]. 7 The term solid grasping [dngos ’dzin] can also be translated as ‘clinging to something as actually existing’ [yod par ’dzin pa]. I am without anything. 8 In the Tibetan commentarial text. Therefore. it is said that the victor and inserted root text: stanza 8 To the victor and his sons I shall constantly offer all my bodies. . free of any solid grasping. Supreme heroic beings. These offerings that do not belong to an owner. Accept them with your magical powers from your individual buddha fields for my8 own sake. Therefore. that is to say I have become (as poor as) someone who (lives) among beggars holding a walking stick. Accept these (offerings) with (your) powers for my own sake. I am destitute. not being endowed with merit (resulting) from former generosity and the like. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all sentient beings gathered the accumulations and purified their obscurations?” accept (these offerings) in an excellent way. Thus we will perfect the accumulations and purify our obscurations.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 37 inserted root text: stanza 7 Not being endowed with merit. you who care (only) for the welfare of others. protector. apart from those (offerings) that were shown previously. I am destitute of riches to offer in this life. all of you who since the first moment of developing bodhicitta care only for the welfare of others. I shall be your respectful subject. (those that have no owner). having no other riches that are worthy to offer. his sons.

38 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [90] gsum-pa ni / bdud bzhi’i g.yul las rgyal bas na rgyal ba sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das dang de yi sras byang chub sems dpa’i tshogs dang bcas pa rnams la bdag gis ni da nas bzung ste tshe rabs rnams su bdag rang gi lus gces shing phangs pa dgos shing mkho ba ’di kun dus gtan du rgyun mi ’chad par dbul bar bgyi yi / sems dpa’ mchog rgyal sras rigs gsum mgon po sogs khyed rnams kyis bdag ni yongs su bzhes shig ste bzhes nas bdag gir mdzod cig dang / sgu gsum gus pas khyed rnams kyi ’bangs su mchi ba ste ’ong nas bka’ bzhin bsgrub par bgyi’o // inserted root text: stanza 9 bdag ni khyed kyis yongs-su-bzung-bas na / srid na mi 'jigs sems-can phan-par-bgyid / sngon gyi sdig-las yang-dag ’da’ bgyid cing / sdig-pa gzhan yang slan-chad mi bgyid do / [91] bdag ni khyed rnams kyis yongs-su-bzhes te bran-gyi-tshul-du rjes-su-bzung-bas zhes / bdag gir mdzad na khyed rnams thugs-mnyes-par-bgyi-ba’i slad-du srid-pa’khor-bar-gnas na-yang gzhan-don-du ‘khor-ba’i-sdug-bsngal la mi-’jigs-par semscan thams-cad la phan-bde’i don-bsgrub-par-bgyi zhing / [92] de-lta-na bdag-nyid mi-dge-ba-spyod-pa’i-sdig-pa dang-ldan na khyed rnams kyi mtshan snyan-grags dbu-’phang la gnod cing gzhan-don lta-ci rang-don yang mi-nuspas sngon-gyi-sdig-pa rnams las yang-dag-par ’da’ ste bshags-pa-bgyid cing sdig-pa gzhan gang-yang slan-chad mi bgyid do zhes sdom-sems-kyis-dam-bca’o // de-ltar lus-’bul-ba ni bsrung-ba rnams kyi mchog yin-par yang gsungs / [93] gnyis-pa yid-kyi-sprul-pa’i-mchod-pa la / khrus dang sku-phyi sogs ’bul-ba dang / nyer-spyod-kyi-mchod-pa gnyis las / [94] dang-po ni / zas-kyi-snga-phyir khrus dang rkang-pa-bkru-ba dris-byug-pa me-tog- gi-phreng-bas mgo-la-brgyan-pa la-sogs-pa’i ’jig-rten-pa’i-nyer-spyod dang-mthunpar-mdzad-pa ste / de-yang rgyal-ba-sras-bcas la nyes-pa’i-dri-ma med kyang bdag sogs ’gro-ba’i sgo-gsum-gyi-dri-ma khrus-kyis-sbyang phyir lha la khrus-gsol-ba ste / .

speech and mind. drying and so forth. Having accepted me. all my bodies.” To offer your body in this fashion is said to be the supreme protection. Without fearing the suffering of saṃsāra. throughout all (future) lifetimes. Therefore. I shall offer from now on. the assembly of bodhisattvas. such as the ‘protectors of the three families’. I offer bathing to the deities. Having become yours. [91] When I am completely accepted and cared for by you like a servant. or decorating the head with a flower garland. I shall work in order to delight you for the benefit and happiness of all sentient beings. and (2) the offerings of enjoyments. I confess them. the Bhagavān. Offerings that are mentally created [92] As I am burdened with the negativity of having committed the ten non-virtuous [93] Second. “I shall perfectly transcend my previous negative deeds. 9 nyer spyod . washing the feet and anointing them with fragrance. respectful in body. [94] Of these the first is conducted in accordance with the mundane (ancient Indian) offering customs9 of bathing before and after (eating) food. Although the victor and his sons are not stained by defects. I could damage the fame and glory of your name. I shall act according to your teaching. I shall perfectly transcend my previous negative deeds And furthermore shall not commit wicked deeds in the future. constantly and unceasingly. in order to cleanse by washing the stains of the three doors of myself and other beings. with a resolved mind I make the commitment. mentally created offerings are of two (types): (1) the offerings of bathing. even if I must remain in saṃsāric existence. it is needless to mention that I cannot benefit others. actions. I shall work for the benefit of others. please accept me completely.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 39 [90] Third: To the victor. Unable to help even myself. inserted root text: stanza 9 When I am completely cared for by you. I shall benefit sentient beings without fearing saṃsāric existence. and furthermore I shall not commit any wicked deeds in the future. which I must give up although I cherish them. who is triumphant over the four māras. and his sons. sons of the victor. to the Buddha. and I shall be your subject. Supreme heroic beings. make me your own. when you have made me your own.

40 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 10 khrus-kyi-khang-pa shin-tu dri-zhim-pa / shel-gyi-sa-gzhi gsal zhing 'tsher-ba bstar / rin-chen ’bar-ba’i ka-ba yid ’ong-ldan / mu-tig ’od-chags bla-re bres-pa der / [95] mdun-gyi-nam-mkhar khrus-kyi-khang-pa gcig gam mang-po tsan-dan dang ga-bur la-sogs-pas bsgos-pas shin-tu dri-zhim-pa / shel-sna-lnga’i-rang-bzhin gyi sa-gzhi bkod-pa-phra-chen ltar mdzes-pa dri-ma-med-pas gsal zhing ’od-’phro-bas ’tsher-ba khod-snyoms-pas bstar-ba’i bug-pa la them-bus-bcad-pa / [96] rin-chen-sna-bdun nam shel sogs ’od-zer sna-tshogs ’bar-ba’i ka-ba phyogs-kyi- mdog-can yid-du-’ong-ba dang-ldan-pa bzhi / de’i rtsa-bar ’bo-ra zhes chu-brten-pa’ira-ba mi-lang-ba’i-sked-par-sleb-pa dang / sked-par-’phred-du ka-sgrog-bzhi dang steng-skor-kheb-byas-pa la nang-ngos sogs kyi steng-du mu-tig-sna-lnga la-sogs-pa’i rin-po-che ’od-’bar zhing chags-pa’i bla-re dang ’phen-gdugs rgyal-mtshan ba-dan dra-ba-dang-dra-phyed la-sogs-pas rab-tu-mdzes-par bres shing brgyan te de’i-dbus rgya-mthongs kyi steng ka-thung-gis-btegs-pa’i rgya-phib la yid-bzhin-gyi-nor-bu-rinpo-che’i tog-gis-brgyan-pa’i nang-du rin-po-che’i-khri sna-tshogs-pa dang-bcas-par bsgom-pa / inserted root text: stanza 11 de-bzhin-gshegs-pa dang de yi sras rnams la / rin-chen-bum-pa mang-po spos-kyi-chu / yid ’ong legs-par bkang-ba glu dang ni / rol-mor bcas-pa du-mas sku-khrus-gsol / [97] der / chos-nyid-de-bzhin-nyid dang rjes-su-mthun-par gshegs-pas de-bzhin-gshegs- pa rnams thugs chos-sku’i-dgongs-pa las ma-g.yos-bzhin-du gzugs-sku ye-shes sgyuma’i-rnam-rol gang-’dul-gyi-rnam-par dang / de yi sras byang-chub-sems-dpa’i’khor-tshogs rgya-mtsho dang-bcas-par byon-pa rnams kyi na-bza’ ka-sgrog gi stengdu bkal te / .

made of five kinds of crystal. a wall that holds the water. inserted root text: stanza 11 [96] Four pillars. Endowed with exquisite pillars ablaze with gems. their drains sealed with plugs. is like a great mosaic. they come as the rūpakāya. is a square cupola on top of which short pillars support a Chinese roof. The design of the floors. strings. parasols. radiating light. being sprinkled with sandalwood. Although their minds do not depart from the dharmakāya. the illusory wisdom display. such as the five kinds of pearls. and so forth are most beautifully decorated and hanging. In the upper part of the interior canopies made of precious substances. In the center (above the opening in the ceiling). string pendants. Inside (the bathing pavilions) are jewel thrones. Aglow with pearls. ornamented with a wishfulfilling jewel as the top-piece. canopies are hanging. they are level.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 41 inserted root text: stanza 10 (In) very sweetly scented bathing pavilions (With) luminous and sparkling. Being even. those who traverse in harmony with the natural state as it (actually) is. a ceiling covers10 (the bathing pavilions). they are luminous. 10 skor kheb byas pa . as high as the waist of a standing man. Accompanied by various songs and music. made of the seven kinds of gems or crystals. and hang their clothes over the railings. [97] There arrive the tathāgatas. as well as pillar banners. Therefore. there [95] I visualize in the sky before me one or many bathing pavilions. They arrive together with their sons. the form that tames whoever (needs taming). victory banners. streamers. beautiful and immaculate. very sweetly scented. they are sparkling. At the base is what is called ‘a bathtub wall’. Properly filled with pleasant scented water. camphor and the like. Up above. Four railings run between (the pillars). rays. are ablaze with various light I offer bathing to the tathāgatas and their sons With many precious vases. radiating and aglow. And. the ocean-like assembly of an entourage of bodhisattvas. endowed with exquisite colors on the sides. level crystal floors.

42 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [98] rang ngam sprul-pa’i-mchod-lha rnams kyis khrus-ras dkar-po sku-sha-mi-sgrib-pa phul te mnab-pa la vaiḍūrya la-sogs-pa’i rin-chen-bum-pa che zhing mdzes-pa mang po dag-byed-kyi-rdzas dang dri-bzang sna-tshogs-pa’i spos-kyi-chu yid-du-’ong-bas sum-gnyis legs-par-bkang-ba yo-ba’i-tshul-gyis dbang-khrus-byas-pa dang chab-gcig khrus-khang gi phyi-rol ’od-kyi-’dod-snam gyi steng-du mchod-pa’i-lha-mo mdzes shing blta-na-sdug-pa rnams kyis la las / gang-tshe rkang-gnyis-gtso-bo sogs yid’phrog-pa’i bstod pa’i glu-dbyangs snyan-pa dang ni la las rnga-zlum gling-bu lasogs-pa’i rol-mor bcas-pa du-mas sku-khrus-gsol-bar-bgyi’o // [99] de-nas khrus-khang gi them-bu-blangs-ba na khrus-chu nam-mkha’ nas bab-pas ’og- tu ’khod-pa’i rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi sdig-sgrib ma-lus-pa dag-pa dang / khyad-par yul-lha gzhi-bdag ’dre-srin nad-bdag sogs kyi gnod-’tshe’i bsam-sbyor gdug-rtsub ma-lus-pa zhi zhing mi-nad dang phyugs-nad rgyun-chad / rin-chenbyang-chub-kyi-sems rgyud-la-skyes-par bsam / inserted root text: stanza 12 de-dag sku la mtshungs-pa-med-pa’i gos / gtsang la dri rab-bsgos-pas sku-phyi’o / de-nas de la kha-dog legs bsgyur-ba'i / na-bza’ shin-tu dri-zhim dam-pa ’bul / [100] khrus-gsol-ba’i rgyal-ba-sras-bcas de-dag gi sku la lha’i-gos dang ka-shi-ka la-sogs-pa mtshungs-pa-med-pa’i-gos dri-ma-med-pas gtsang la dri-shin-tu-zhim-po’i smanphye-skam-pos rab-tu-bsgos-pas sku-phyi zhing byi-dor legs-par-bgyi’o // kyi-thsul-du rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi smin-mtshams su thim-pas de-dag gi ye-shes yon-tan thams-cad thob-par bsam mo // [101] na-bza’ khrus-ras sku-phyi kun ’od-dmar-po’i-rnam-par byin-rlabs dang dngos-grub- [102] sku-phyis-pa’i rjes de-nas yul-dam-pa de rnams las sprul-sku chags-bral-gyi-rnam-pa rab-byung-gi-cha-byad-can rnams la / sngon-po btsag dang ngur-smrig rtsi // zhespas / rung-ba’i-tshon-gsum gyis kha-dog legs-par-bsgyur-ba’i na-bza’ chos-gosgsum la-sogs-pa’i ’tsho-ba’i-yo-byad-bcu-gsum-po shin-tu-dri-zhim gyis bsgos-pa’i gos ’bum-phrag ri-ba’i dam-pa ’bul-bar-bya zhing / .

Some offer lovely and melodious songs. these sublime ones—the thirteen possessions of (ordained) livelihood such as the three-fold robes and others. are pacified. [99] Then. Garments of colors well-dyed. yourself and others. As (the cloths) are free of stain. bathing garments and towels dissolve as blessings and [102] Then. In particular consider that all malicious and harmful intentions of regional deities. [100] Having bathed the victors and their sons. on platforms made of light. imagine that the bathing waters rain down from the sky and purify the negative deeds and obscurations of all sentient beings. accomplishments in the form of red light into the space between the eyebrows of all sentient beings.” . red-ocher and saffron dye. Clean and well-powdered with scent. clothe them. are beautiful and delightful offering goddesses. I present the nirmāṇakāyas—those manifestations free from passion who wear the attire of the ordained ones. Imagine that through this all receive the wisdom and qualities of these (sublime beings). spirits. (powdered with) most sublime sweet-smelling fragrance. inserted root text: stanza 12 I dry their bodies with incomparable cloths. demons. And then I present them excellent things. who are seated beneath (the pavilions). Some play round drums. as (the texts) say: “blue. praising (the Buddha) with. disease-causing demons and so forth. I dry their bodies with incomparable cloths. when the plugs of the bathing pavilions are drawn. At the same time. They are well-powdered with the very sweet scent of dry medicinal powder. accompanied by various kinds of music.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 43 [98] Either you or emanated offering goddesses offer white transparent bathing garments. I thus offer bathing. “At the time when the supreme one among humans was born…” and the like. local spirits. properly filled to two thirds with cleansing substances and pleasant water. and the precious bodhicitta is born in the minds (of all). [101] Imagine that all their clothes. numbering hundreds of thousands of garments. oboes and so forth. Benares silk. garments of colors well-dyed with the three proper dyes. (I present) excellent things. scented with various aromas. such as the cloth of the gods. that diseases of humans and animals come to an end. they are clean. beautiful precious vases. and bestow the bathing empowerment by pouring many large. and so forth. made out of beryl and the like. after the offering of bathing. powdered with the most sublime sweet-smelling fragrance. outside the bathing pavilions. yourself and others.

44 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 13 gos-bzang srab la ’jam-pa sna-tshogs dang / rgyan-mchog brgya-phrag de dang de-dag gis / ‘phags-pa kun-tu-bzang dang ’jam-dbyangs dang / ’jig-rten-dbang-phyug sogs la’ang brgyan-par-bgyi / [103] longs-sku sogs chags-can ’khor-los-bsgyur-ba’i-cha-byad-can rnams la lha-rdzas las grub-pa’i gos-bzang-po rin-thang-dang-bral-bar shin-tu-srab cing yang la reg-bya’jam-pa kha-dog dang dbyibs sna-tshogs-pa’i gos lus la bsam-gtan-gyi-bde-ba bskyed-nus-pa’i gar-gyi-phu-dung / dar-dkar-po-gser-gyi-ngang-ris-can-gyi-stodg.yogs / tshi-gu’i-smad-dkris / dar-sna-tshogs-kyi-cod-paṇ / zi-ldir ste dar-gyi-chasgos-lnga dang / gar-gyi-phu-dung gi tshab tu dar-dpyang bgrang-ba’ang yod // deltar phul-ba des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi ngo-tsha dang khrel-yod kyi gos thob-par-shog-cig ces bsam-par-bya’o // [104] rgyan-gyi-rnam-pa gser la-sogs-pa vaiḍūrya sogs kyi phra-tshom-gyis-spras-pa’i-dbu- rgyan / snyan-rgyan / mgul-rgyal/ do-shal / se-mo-do // phyag-gdub / zhabs-gdub / sku-rag ste rin-po-che’i-rgyan-brgyad-po ches mchog-tu-gyur-pa brgya-phragmang-po de-dang-de-dag-gis ’phags-mchog-dam-pa kun-tu-bzang-po dang ’jampa’i-dbyangs dang ’jig-rten-dbang-phyug-spyan-ras-gzigs dang sogs-sgras phyagna-rdo-rje dang sa-yi-snying-po byams-pa nam-snying sgrib-sel sogs la’lang brgyanpar-bgyi zhing ’bul-bar-bya’o // des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi mtshandpe’i-rgyan-bzang thob-par-shog-cig bsam-par-bya’o // [105] gnyis-pa ni / mdzod las / gling-bzhi dang ni nyi-zla dang // ri-rab dang ni ’dod-lha dang // tshangs-pa’i-’jig-rten stong la ni // stong ni spyi-phud yin-par ’dod // de stong la ni stong-gnyis-pa // bar-ma’i-’jig-rten-khams zhes-bya // de stong la ni stong-gsum mo // zhes-pas .

Mañjughoṣa. 11 pages 27-28 .” Offerings of enjoyment [105] Second. [103] I present the saṃbhogakāya. the throat ornament. A silk shawl can also be substituted for the dance jacket. the anklets. and (5) ribbons. Ākāśagarbha. supreme and sublime ones. obtain the garment of shame and embarrasment. the worlds of the gods of desire And of Brahma. led by Samantabhadra. A thousand of this (‘first order of a thousand world systems’) is called the ‘second order of thousand (world systems)’. That thousand is counted as the ‘first order of a thousand world systems’. Sarvanīvaraṇaviṣkambhī.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 45 inserted root text: stanza 13 With each and every one (of the many) hundreds of excellent ornaments And various noble garments. as it is said in the Abhidharma-koṣa:11 A thousand of the four continents with sun and moon. Kṣitigarbha. the short necklace. attain through these (offerings) the excellent ornamentation of the major marks and minor signs. Thus think. I adorn the noble Samantabhadra. myself and others. (3) the multi-colored leggings. with each and every one of the many hundreds of ornaments. light and smooth to the touch. Lokeśvara Avalokita and others. such as the five silk garments: (1) the dance jacket that has the power to ignite the bliss of meditation in the body. “May all beings. Clothes in various colors and shapes. Or the ‘middle order of a thousand world systems’. think. (4) the tiara made of various kinds of silk. the long necklace. priceless noble garments made of celestial substances. A thousand of this (‘middle order of a thousand world systems’) is the ‘third order of thousand (world systems)’. which are very fine. meaning Vajrapāṇi.” [104] I adorn and I present the noble. Mañjughoṣa. among which the most excellent are the eight precious ornaments. Lokeśvara and others. fine and smooth. (Mount) Sumeru. the bracelets. and the like. (2) the top with golden design. While offering in this way. Maitreya. myself and others. (those manifestations) with passion who wear the attire of a world monarch. those being the jewel crown ornamented with clusters of beryl and the like. the earrings. and the belt. “May all sentient beings.

46 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 14 stong-gsum kun-tu dri-ngad ldang-ba yi / dri-mchog rnams kyis thub-dbang kun gyi sku / gser-sbyangs btso-ma byi-dor-byas-pa ltar / ’od-chags ’bar-ba de-dag byug-par-bgyi / [106] stong-gsum-gyi-stong-chen-po’i-’jig-rten-gyi-khams mtha’-yas-pa kun-du dri-zhim- po’i ngad rab-tu-ldang-ba’am ’phro-ba yi tsan-dan-dkar-po la-sogs-pa bsil zhing drimchog-bzang-po rnams kyi chus rin-po-che’i-snod dung-phor dang nya-phyi’i la-sogs bkang-ba de mchod-lha rnams kyis thub-pa’i-dbang-po sangs-rgyas byang-chubsems-dpa’ kun gyi sku gser-bzang-po lan-grangs-bcu-drug gi bar-du legs-par bzhubtul-gyis-sbyangs te btso-ma ste shin-tu-dag-pa sman sna-tshogs kyis mdangs-bton cing dar-gos kyis byi-dor-byas-pa ltar ’od-rang-ngor-chags shing gzhan-ngor ’phrobas ’bar-ba de-dag la rdul mi ’byung-ba’i ched-du byugs-par-bgyi’o // des ranggzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi pags-pa gser-mdog lta-bu’i mtshan-bzang thob-parshog-cig ces bsam mo // inserted root text: stanza 15 thub-dbang mchod-gnas mchog la yid-’ong-ba'i / me-tog man-da-ra dang pad-ma dang / ut-pal la-sogs dri-zhim thams-cad dang / phreng-ba spel-legs yid-’ong rnams kyis mchod / [107] thub-pa’i-dbang-po mchod-par-bya-ba’i-gnas mchog-tu-gyur-pa rnams la kha-dog dbyibs legs yid-du-’ong-ba’i lha’i-me-tog-manda-ra-ba dang / lha dang mi’i-yul gyi me-tog padma dang utpal la-sogs-pa lha-klu-mi dang dag-pa’i-zhing gi dri-zhim zhing ’od-zer-’phro-ba’i me-tog thams-cad sil-ma nam-mkhar-gtor-bas sprul-skuchags-bral-gyi-rnam-pa-can rnams la khang-bzang dang bla-re ’phen-gdugs rgyalmtshan maṇḍal la-sogs-pa’i rnam-pa dang de las kyang me-tog-gi-char-dbab-pa rlung-gis-bskyod-pas phyogs-bcu’i-rgyal-ba rnams la’ang mchod-par-gyur-pa dang / me-tog-sna-lnga’i phreng-ba-phreng-brgyud-mkhas-pas-byas-pa ltar spel-legs-parbrgyus-pas yid-du-’ong-ba rnams kyis kyang longs-sku-chags-can-gyi-rnam-pa-can rnams la phreng-ba la-sogs-pa rgyan-rnam-pa-sna-tshogs-pas mchod-par-bya’o // des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi rgyud la byang-chub-yan-lag-bdun gyi metog-gi-tshom-bu bkra-bar-shog-cig ces bsam mo // .

lotus. I offer various forms of ornaments such as garlands and so forth. refined and intensely purified by melting it well sixteen times and enhancing its shine through various kinds of chemicals. and from which sweet-scented fragrances widely permeating and spreading in all limitless ‘third order. such as the lotus. canopies. noble and supreme perfumes. those manifestations free of passion. beautiful in excellent color and shape. humans and pure buddha fields. and so that dust never settles on their (bodies). take on the forms of beautiful houses. [107] To the lords of the sages. (offerings) for the nirmāṇakāya. blown by the wind and becoming an offering to the victors in the ten directions. Think. the buddhas and bodhisattvas with waters presented by offering goddesses—waters of cooling. pillar banners. I offer the divine māndāravā-flower. to all supreme objects for receiving offerings. I anoint the bodies of all lords of the sages. such as white sandalwood. myself and others. sweetly fragrant and emitting rays of light. achieve the noble mark of golden-hued skin. the flowers of the realms of both gods and humans. oyster shells and the like. whose petals. just like those made by skillful mala stringers. that fill precious vessels. Such as māndāravā-flower. sparkle for others. I offer every (variety of) beautiful flowers. those manifestations with passion. of one thousand world systems’. Think. And again from these (offerings) a rain of flowers descends. as well as every (variety of) flowers of gods. such as conch shells. utpal and others As well as beautiful. victory banners.” inserted root text: stanza 15 To the lords of the sages. parasols. the supreme objects for offerings. “May all sentient beings. myself and others. when tossed into the sky. I anoint the bodies of all lords of the sages with supreme perfumes Of scented fragrances permeating all ‘third order of a thousand (world systems)’. nāgas. So that they glow and sparkle in their luster.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 47 inserted root text: stanza 14 Just like polishing cleaned and refined gold. utpal and others.” . With beautiful and well-arranged garlands of five kinds of flowers. (I anoint them) so that in their luster they glow for themselves and radiating. well-arranged garlands. the larger order. to the saṃbhogakāya. [106] Just like polishing with a silk cloth excellent gold that has been cleaned. “Through this (offering) may the flower heaps of the seven factors of enlightenment bloom in the minds of all sentient beings. sweetly fragrant. maṇḍalas and so forth.

48 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 16 spos-mchog yid-’phrog dri-ngad khyab-pa yi / bdug-pa'i sprin-tshogs rnams kyang de la 'bul / zhal-zas bza’-btung sna-tshogs bcas-pa yi / lha-bshol rnams kyang de la dbul-bar-bgyi / [108] tsan-dan-sbrul-snying dang a-ka-ru-nag-po la-sogs-pa’i lhan-skyes-dang-sbyarbyung-gi-spos mchog-tu-gyur-pa tshor-ma-thag-tu yid-’phrog-par-byed-pa’i drizhim-po’i ngad phyogs thams-cad du khyab cing ldangs-pa yi bdug-pa-rengs-bu dang spos-phor sogs su bsreg-pa’i du-ba sprin-gyi-tshogs ltar ’khrigs-pa yig-’bru dang rin-po-che-sna-bdun gyi rnam-pa rlung gis phyogs bcur bskyod-pa rnams kyis kyang rgyal-ba-sras-dang-bcas-pa de-dag la gus-pas dbul-bas dgyes-pa-bskyed cing / dri des sems-can rnams kyi sdug-bsngal-bsal te bde-bas-tshim-par-byas-pa dang / des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi rgyud la rgyal-ba-dgyes-pa’i-tshul-khrims kyi dri-bsung gis khyab-par-shog-cig ces bsam mo // [109] zhal-zas ro-brgya-dang-ldan pa’i ’bras-chen la-sogs-pa’i bza’-ba dang bca’-ba / bdud- brtsi’i-btung-ba dang dkar-gsum mngar-gsum la-sogs-pa kha-dog dang dri-ro phunsum-tshogs-pa sna-tshogs-pa dang-bcas-pa yi lha-rdzas las grub-pa’i bshos sam / lha zhes rgyal-po ste / de’i zhal-du-bza’-bar-’os-pa’i lha-bshos / chu-ma-rag-pa’i-zhal-zas la-sogs-pa mang-po mdor-na rin-po-che’i lhung-bzed dang ka-to-ra sogs su yid-lagang-’dod kyi bza’-btung sna-tshogs-pa rnams kyang de-dag la dbul-bar-bgyi’o // des rang-bzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi ting-nge-’dzin-gyi-zas-mchog thob-par-shogcig ces bsam mo // inserted root text: stanza 17 gser gyi pad-ma tshar-du-dngar-ba yi / rin-chen sgron-me rnams kyang dbul-bar-bgyi / sa-gzhi bstar-ba spos kyis byugs-pa der / me-tog yid-’ong sil-ma dkram-par-bgyi / [110] ’dzam-bu’i-chu-gser gyi padma mdzes shing yid-du-’ong-ba mang-po gral-tshar-du- dngar-ba ste sgrigs-legs-pa yi pad-spungs su / vaiḍūrya la-sogs-pa’i rin-chen snatshogs kyi sgron-me ’od kyis ’dzam-bu’i-gling sogs khyab cing nyin-mtshan rtag-tu snang-bar-byed-pa dang / .

that spreads and permeates throughout all directions a supreme scent. [108] (I also offer) the fragrance of incense. And I present them royal delicacies. Think. illuminating them day and night.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 49 inserted root text: stanza 16 I also offer (the victors and their sons) cloud banks of incense that spreads A supreme scent of sweet fragrance. and they are delighted. natural and manufactured. I also respectfully offer these to the victors and their sons. in which the victors delight. (all) well-placed and arranged in rows. black agaru and the like. nectar-like drink. Royal delicacies are foods that are worthy of the mouth of a king. On a level floor anointed with perfume. In short. permeate the minds of myself and all beings. Think. and through this (offering) may the fragrance of discipline. (the smoke) manifests in the form of letters and the seven precious substances. delicacies composed of divine substances. myself and others. such as sandalwood (called) gośīrṣa-uragasāra-candana. all that the heart can desire. the light of which pervades Jambudvīpa and other (realms). I offer mentally-created (butter) lamps of various kinds of precious substances such as beryl and others. including a variety of things of perfect color. such as food. “Through this (offering) may all sentient beings. like the magnificent rice endowed with one I offer precious lamps Arranged in rows upon golden lotuses. Arranged like cloud banks. captivating the mind the moment it is noticed. blown by the wind into the ten directions.” inserted root text: stanza 17 [109] I also present them food and appetizers. . (Note: In the word ‘divine delicacy’) divine means royal. obtain the supreme food of samādhi. “Through this scent may the suffering of beings be removed. (cooked in) water that has not been touched. (I offer) a variety of food and drink. Including a variety of food and drink. (pouring them) into their precious begging bowls and plates. [110] Upon heaps of lotuses. upon a multitude of beautiful and exquisite golden lotuses of the highest quality. may they be blissfully satisfied. a multitude of offerings. such as the three white and the three sweet substances.” hundred flavors. I scatter petals of lovely flower blossoms. burning incense sticks or incense powder in pots. captivating the mind. smell and taste. a sweet-smelling fragrance.

50 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [111] rang-rang-gi-phul-ba la yang kong-bu ni stong-gsum-gyi-stong-chen-po // sdong-bu ni ri’i-rgyal-po-ri-rab / mar-khu ni rgya-mtsho chen-po tsam la ’od-sna-lngas nammkha’i-khams thams-cad khyab-par-byed-pa rnams kyang yid-kyis-sprul te de-dag la ’bul-bar-bgyi’o // des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad shes-bya la rmongs-pa’i marig-pa’i mun-pa thams-cad bsal te shes-bya thams-cad mkhyen-pa’i-ye-shes-kyisnang-ba chen-po thob-par-shog-cig ces bsam mo // [112] rin-po-che sna-tshogs kyis sa-gzhi mig-mang-ris su bkra-ba khod-snyoms-pas bstar- ba mnan na nems-pa btegs na ’phar-ba la dri-zhim sna-tshogs-pa’i spos-chu ba-langgi-ko-ba’i srab-mthug-tsam kyis byugs-pa der me-tog yid-du-’ong-ba kha-dog snatshogs-pa sil-ma ste yu-ba-med-pa mi-’greng-tsam-du bcal du dkram zhing bkod-pa yang mchod-par-bgyi’o // des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi ’dun-pa sa ltabu’i sems-bskyed -thob-par-shog cig ces bsam mo // inserted root text: stanza 18 gzhal-med pho-brang bstod-dbyangs yid-‘ong-ldan / mu-tig rin-chen rgyan-’phyang mdzes 'bar-ba / dpag-yas nam-mkha’i rgyan-gyur de-dag kyang / thugs-rje’i-rang-bzhin-can la dbul-bar-bgyi / [113] rgya-khyon dang bkod-pa’i tshad blos-gzhal-du-med-pa’i pho-brang rin-po-che sna- tshogs las grub-pa brtsegs lnga-brgya-pa la-sogs-pa’i nang dang ’dod-snam thams-cad mchod-pa’i-lha-mo rnams kyis pi-vang la-sogs-pa’i rol-mo dang-bcas-pas bstod-pa’idbyangs yid-du-’ong-ba’i snyan-pa sgrogs-pa dang-ldan-pa’i phyi’i-gsham sne dang nang-gi ka-ba sogs-la seng-ge dang chu-srin sogs kyi kha-nas-dpyang-ba’i mu-tig dmar-po dang rin-chen sna-tshogs-pa’i drva-ba-dang-drva-phyed la-sogs-pa’i rgyangyi-chun-po ’phyang-bas mdzes shing yid-du-’ong-ba ’od dang ’od-zer ’bar-ba drvaba’i-khug-mgo dang drva-phyed-kyi-sne la rnga-yab dang dril-bu dang me-long gis brgyan-pa / me-long-gi-ngos dang dril-bu’i-sgras byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-spyod-pa ston-pa / [114] tsan-dan gyi va-kha nas dri-bzang gi chu-rgyun-bab-pas khrus-kyi-rdzing-bu ’khyil- ba la chu-bya sna-tshogs skad-snyan-sgrogs shing rtse-ba / nang-gi-khang-mig la-lar na-bza’ sna-tshogs dang / la-lar bza’-btung sna-tshogs / nyin-mor bzhugs-khri dang mtshan gyi gzim-cha lha’i-ras bcos-bu sna-tshogs kyi stan dang sngas khra-bo sogs nye-ba’i-rin-po-che-sna-bdun dang / .

On it I scatter.12 the wicks as large as Mount Sumeru. tri-sāhasra] is a trichiliocosm—one billion single word systems. (layered) as thick as cowhide. composed of various jewels. When pressed down upon it yields. On the surface of the mirrors and through the sound of the bells. composed of various precious jewels. accompanied by musical instruments like the tambura. 12 A ‘thousand-cubed great-thousand-world’ [stong gsum gyi stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi [114] (I offer) a stream of scented water descending from sandalwood spouts (at the corners khams. myself and others. Think. and we obtain the great wisdom illumination of knowing all fields of knowledge. Inside and on every balcony. endowed with five hundred floors and the like. and the melted butter as vast as an ocean. [113] (I offer) palaces unfathomable to the mind in their spaciousness and dimensions of design. do not stick up. (This floor) is anointed with various sweet. Some inner rooms (hold) various garments and others various kinds of food and drink.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 51 [111] Offered one by one. “Through this (offering). . beautiful in checkered designs. Exquisitely radiating. is dispelled. such as strings and string pendants of various kinds of gems and red pearls. which lie flat on the ground and. arrange and offer petals of multi-colored. During the day there are seats and at night bedding. The top point of the strings and the tips of the string pendants are adorned with fans. and when pushed up it rises. the conduct of the bodhisattvas is taught. having no stems. bells and mirrors. bedecked with ornaments of pearls and gems.” [112] The floor. achieve bodhicitta with an intent (as firm) as the earth. offering goddesses sing songs and beautiful melodies of praise.” inserted root text: stanza 18 To those who have the nature of compassion I offer also these unfathomable palaces endowed with beautiful melodies of praise. tri-sāhasra-mahāsāhasro loka-dhātuḥ] or the ‘third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum pa. of the roof). Their five kinds of light pervade the entire extent of space. hanging from the mouths of lions and water monsters. myself and others. fragrant perfumes. “Through this (offering) may all sentient beings. chirping with melodious voices. There are cushions and multi-colored pillows of various manufactured divine fabrics and others of the seven secondary precious things. skr. the bowls (of the lamps) are as wide as a ‘thousand-cubed great thousand’. lovely flower blossoms. exquisitely and splendidly radiating with a hundred thousand colors and light rays. Serving as an adornment for immeasurable space. is level. its surface being even. filling bathing ponds in which frolic various kinds of water birds. Think. The pillars and so forth on the outside and on the inside (of the palaces) are bedecked with clusters of ornaments. the darkness of the dull ignorance of all sentient beings.

yon-phyogs-nas brgya-byin gyis ’dzam-bu’i-chu-gser-gyi-gdugs lnga-brgya phul-ba ltar dus-rtag-tu thub-pa’i-dbang-po sras-dang-bcas-pa rnams la dbul-bar-bgyi’o //de-ltar phul-bas rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad ’khor-ba dang ngan-song-gi-tshagdung las skyob ste / dkon-mchog-gsum gyi grib-ma-bsil-ba’i skyabs-’og-tu-tshudpar-shog-cig ces bsam-par-bya’o // blos stong-gsum sogs khyab-par-mi-nus-pas na de-ltar khyab yod-par bsam dgos so // de-la zhi-ba-lha shin-tu-spros-med-kyi-rnal-’byor-pa yin-pas dngos-’byor-gyimchod-pa rgya-chen ma gsung-par ’di-ltar dka’-tshegs-med-par bsod-nams-kyitshogs rgya-chen-po yang-dag-par-rdzogs-pa’i thabs mchog-tu-gyur-pas na byangchub-sems-dpa’i-thabs-la-mkhas-pa’i-mchod-pa yin la / des-na mchod-pa’i-rnamgrangs ’di rnams rtsis-med-mi-byed-par yang-dang-yang-du bsgom dgos // [117] de-ltar yid-sprul-gyi-mchod-pa’i-rnam-grangs-bcu-gnyis-po ’di rnams la / rang-re’i- [118] de’ang lha-bsgom-pa lta-bu rgyun-mi-’chad-par bsgom mi dgos-par skad-cig-yud- tsam-yud-tsam blo-la-snang-tsam-snang-tsam shar-ba-tsam-gyis dka’-tshegs-dangngal-dub-ma-dgos-par bsod-nams-kyi-tshogs rgya-chen-po ’dum-par-’gyur-bas .yas-phyogs-nas tshangs-bas vaiḍūrya’i-gdugs lnga-brgya dang g.52 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [115] rin-po-che sna-tshogs-pa’i sgron-me’i ’od kyis phyogs thams-cad nyin-mtshan-kun-du gsal zhing tshad blos-dpag-tu-med cing mtha’-yas-pa nam-mkha’i-khams thams-cad khyab-pas nam-mkha’i-rgyan lta-bur gyur-pa de-dag kyang // thugs-snying-rje’irang-bzhin-can sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das sras byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs dangbcas-pa rnams la ’bul-bar-bgyi’o // des rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi thar-pachen-po’i-grong-khyer thob-par-shog-cig ces bsam mo // inserted root text: stanza 19 rin chen gdugs mdzes gser gyi yu ba can / khor yug rgyan gyi rnam pa yid 'ong brgyan / dbyibs legs lta na sdug pa bsgreng ba yang / rtag tu thub dbang rnams la dbul bar bgyi / [116] lha-rdzas-kyi-dar dang rin-chen sna-tshogs-pa’i gdugs rab-tu-mdzes-pa gser-gyi-yu- ba-can khor-yug ste sham-bu la mu-tig la-sogs-pa’i rgyan-gyi-rnam-pa dpal-be’u dang drva-ba-dang-drva-phyed la-sogs-pa yid-du-’ong-bas brgyan-pa dbyibs shintu-legs shing blta-na-sdug-pa bsgreng-ba ste gyen-du-bslang-ba yang mchod-pa’ilha-mo dang rta-cang-shes dang glang-po-che sogs kyis bzung-ba sngon ston-pathugs-rje-can la g.

Instead. you should visualize again and again these enumerations of offerings without belittling them. I constantly offer to the lord of the sages and his sons. including the sons of the Bhagavān. reach the city of liberation. the host of bodhisattvas. [116] Just as in former times Brahmā presented five hundred beryl parasols from the right of our gracious teacher. may all sentient beings. I offer also (all) these to the buddhas. tri-sāhasra] is a trichiliocosm—one billion single word systems.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 53 [115] Day and night and in all directions the light of lamps (fashioned) from various precious substances illuminates and pervades the entire extent of boundless space. and Śakra five hundred parasols of the finest gold from his left. this is the offering of the bodhisattvas skilled in means. elephants and other (animals). [118] For this (practice) one need not visualize (the offerings) continuously as when 13 The ‘third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum pa. Hoisted. embellishing the fringes of the rims. But because (he taught) a supreme method for completely perfecting vast accumulations of merit without any hardship. he did not teach extensively on the offerings that are physically assembled. then you should just visualize as much as you can. with golden handles and exquisite ornamental designs—such as the endless knot. the most lovely parasols made of divine silks and various precious substances. (all) those who have the nature of compassion. magical horses.” [117] If you cannot fully encompass with your mind ‘the third order of a thousand (world systems’)13 and the like in regard to these twelve kinds of mentally-created offerings. Think. their excellent shapes are beautiful to behold. one gathers vast accumulations of merit by repeatedly bringing them to mind for short moments. visualizing a deity. myself and others. “As I offer in this way. myself and others. “Through this (offering). As Śāntideva was a yogin of utmost simplicity. may all sentient beings. . which is mentally unfathomable. beautiful to behold. and may we be put under the protective and cooling shade of the three jewels. Think. (and are) hoisted or raised up and carried by offering goddesses. string pendants and the like— fashioned out of pearls. be saved from the anguish of saṃsāra and the lower realms. without hardship or difficulty. Therefore. thus serving as an adornment for immeasurable space. strings.” inserted root text: stanza 19 I constantly offer to the lords of the sages Precious and lovely parasols with golden handles And exquisite ornamental designs embellishing the rims. (The parasols are fashioned in) the most excellent shapes.

54 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [119] tshogs-rdzogs shing sgrib-pa-dag nas byang-chub-kyi-sems rgyud-la-skye-ba dang / thos-pa-shes shing mi-brjed-par-’gyur-ba la-sogs-pa’i yon-tan thams-cad ’byung-bas don-chen-po tshegs-chung-ngus ’grub pa’i mchod-pa’i rnam-grangs ’di rnams yangyang bsam zhing mchod na log-’tsho-dang-sdig-pas-bsgrub-pa’i-mchod-pa nga-rgyaldang-ngom-chos-su-’gro-ba ci-tsam phul-ba las kyang mchod-pa rgya-che zhing rnam-par-dag-pa yin-par gsungs // inserted root text: stanza 20 de las gzhan yang mchod-pa’i-tshogs rol-mo dbyangs snyan yid’ong-ldan / sems-can sdug-bsngal sim-byed-pa'i / sprin rnams so-sor gnas-gyur-cig / [120] gsum-pa smon-lam-stobs-kyi-mchod-pa ni / gong-du-bshad-pa de-dag las gzhan- yang khyad-par-du-’phags-pa’i mchod-pa’i-tshogs sil-snyan-yan-lag-brgyad-ldan lasogs-pa’i ’bud-rdung-dkrol-gsum-gyi-rol-mo dang / mi’am-ci’i-sdong-po’i-sgrasnyan-gyi-skad ’od-srung-chen-pos ma-bzod-par gar-’chams-pa lta-bu dang / dri-za’irgyal-po-rab-dga’i-tam-bu-ra’i-rgyud-bsgreng-ba lta-bu gar dang-bcas-pa’i bstod-pa’iglu dbyangs-snyan-pa yid-du-’ong-ba dang-ldan-pa gang-zhig nus-pa’i-khyad-par thos-pa-tsam-kyis sems-can gyi sdug-bsngal-sel zhing sim-pa’i dgar-bde thob-parbyed-pa’i sprin zhes-pa khyab-che-ba’i-don-yin-pas phyogs-bcu’i-zhing khyab-parbyed-pa’i sgra-dbyangs dpag-tu-med-pa rnams rgyal-ba-sras-bcas kyi spyan-sngar ’byung zhing rgyun-mi-’chad-par rtag-tu so-sor-gnas-pa-gyur-cig ces smon-pa dang / inserted root text: stanza 21 dam-chos dkon-mchog thams-cad dang / mchod-rten rnams dang sku-gzugs la / rin-chen me-tog la-sogs char / rgyun-mi-‘chad-par 'bab-par-shog / .

14 accompanied by dances— (may) all these immeasurable. the purification of obscurations. sweet and pleasing melodies of praise—like (the sounds) of musical instruments that are blown. offerings (made) through the power of aspirations: In addition to what has been explained above. and offering them. or like the sound of the lute (played) by Druma-kiṃnara that even Mahākāśyapa could not resist and began dancing to. the birth of bodhicitta in one’s mind. endowed with beautiful. may masses of offerings Endowed with sweet and pleasing melodies of musical instruments Each remain as (offering) clouds. (manifest as offering) clouds. May each remain and appear continuously. flowers and the like Continuously descend Upon all sublime jewels of dharma And upon stūpas and images.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 55 [119] Through this. the understanding of what one has studied without forgetting it. or which serve only arrogance and pretentiousness. without interruption. distinguished in their power. is said to be a more vast and pure offering than (material) offerings one might present which were acquired through wrong livelihood and negative deeds. Supriya. or (sounds) like strumming the strings of the tambura of the gandharva king. Therefore. thinking again and again about these enumerated offerings through which one accomplishes great benefit with little hardship. Offerings (made) through the power of aspirations inserted root text: stanza 20 In addition. Thus pray. 14 Supriva. before the victors and their sons. Prabha [rab dga’] . and so forth. all qualities will arise including the perfection of the accumulations. dispelling and soothing the misery of beings. Soothing the misery of beings. melodious sounds which pervade all the buddha fields of the ten directions. may masses of the most exalted offerings. such as cymbals endowed with eight qualities and so forth. inserted root text: stanza 21 May a rain of gems. [120] Third. beaten or rung. and making them attain happiness merely by hearing them. (The word) ‘clouds’ connotes ‘very vast’.

56 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [121] lung-dang-rtogs-pa’i-dam-pa’i-chos dkon-mchog yi-ge glegs-bam gyi rnam-pa dang- bcas-pa thams-cad dang / de-yang sangs-rgyas dang byang-chub-sems-dpa’ rnams kyis chos gsungs-pa’i tshe chos-snang-ba’i-cho-’phrul zhes me-tog-gi-char-dbab-par gsungs-pa bzhin-du lung-gi-chos ’chad-nyan-byed-pa’i dus thams-cad la dang / sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das mngon-par-rdzogs-par-byang-chub-pa’i dus-su gnasgtsang-ma’i-lha dag gis me-tog-gi-char-dbab-par gsungs-pa ltar rtogs-pa’i-chos rgyudla-skyes-ba’i dus thams-cad la dang / [122] chos-sku’i-rten de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i-mdzad-pa-brgyad dang sgo-bstun-pa’i mchod- rten-cha-brgyad la-sogs-pa ste de-yang bdag-cag-gi-ston-pa sku-’khrungs-pa’i dus su padma-spung-pa’i-mchod-rten ser-skyar zas-gtsang gis bzhengs-pa / sangs-rgyaspa’i-dus-su bdud-’dul-lam-byang-chub-mchod-rten gzugs-can-snying-po la-sogs-pas bzhengs-pa / chos-’khor bskor-ba’i tshe mchod-rten-bkra-shis-sgo-mang vā-rā-ṇa-sīr lnga-sdes bzhengs-pa / mu-stegs-ston-pa-sde-drug brtul-ba’i dus-su cho-’phrulmchod-rten dze-ta’i-tshal du li-tsa-bis bzhengs-pa / sangs rgyas bcom-ldan-’das kyis lha-yul-sum-cu-rtsa-gsum du-ma la chos-bstan nas slar mi-yul gsal-ldan du bab tshe lha-bab-mchod-rten de-dag rnams kyis bzhengs-pa / dge-’dun dbyen-bsdum-pa’i dus-su dbyen-’dum-mchod-rten ’od-ma’i-tshal du ma-gha-dha-bas bzhengs-pa / skutshe’i-’du-byed-byin-gyis-rlabs-tshe rnam-rgyal-mchod-rten-myang-’das-mchod-rten rtsa-can du gyad kyis bzhengs-pa ste brgyad dang / [123] mdo-sde-bskal-bzang las / de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i sku-gdung ni rgyas-par-’gyur ro zhes-gsungs-pa-ltar de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i tshems-mche-ba-bzhi-po las tshangs-pa dang / grong-khyer-sgra-sgrogs-kyi-’og-gi-klu dang / ka-ling-ka’i-rgyal-po dang / tshig-’dzin-yid-’ong-gi-grong-khyer gyi dri-za rnams kyis mchod-rten re-re bzhengspa dang / de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i-ring-bsrel yul-ma-gha-dha’i-bre-bo-che-brgyad dang ras-tshig-pa-dang-ma-tshig-pa rnams kyis mchod-rten-brgyad la-sogs-par bzhengs-pa dang / chos-rgyal-mya-ngan-med kyis gnod-sbyin-khol-po bsgrub nas ’dzam-glinggi-sa-gnas bye-bar de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i-ring-bsrel-gyi-snying-po-can-gyi-mchod-rten bye-ba bzhengs-pa dang / [124] rgyal-po srong-btsan-sgam-pos dge-slong-a-kar-ma-ti-shi-la sprul nas rgya-gar-gyi- mchod-rten-padma-spungs-pa nas de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i-ring-bsrel spyan-drang-pa da-lta jo-bo-rang-byung-lnga-ldan gyi smin-mtshams su bzhugs-pa dang / mchodrten de las o-rgyan-sangs-rgyas-gnyis-pas rdzu-’phrul gyis ring-bsrel bre-gang spyandrangs te bsam-yas-mchod-rten-dkar-po na bzhugs-pa las ’phel-ba skal-ldan-gyigang-zag gis da-lta’ang rnyed-du-yod-pa la-sogs-pa’i mchod-rten rnams dang / .

pages12-14. taught his mother in the god realm of the thirtythree [skr. pages 252-255. flowers and the like descend upon) the eight types of stūpas and so forth. (the Buddha’s) dharmakāya representations. (1) Brahmā. brought with his magical powers one full measure of relics and placed them in the white stūpa in Samye. also called ‘Stūpa of Enlightenment’. (2) When he attained buddhahood. [122] And (may a continuous rain of gems. the people from Maghadha erected in Veṇuvana (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of Reconciliation’. a rain of flowers descended. Further. it is said that when the Buddha and the bodhisattvas taught the dharma. These are: (1) When our teacher was born. attained completely manifest enlightenment. . [123] In the Bhadra-kalpika-sūtra it is said: “The relics of the Tathāgata are multiplying. (3) When (the Buddha) set the wheel of dharma in motion. from which (relics continue) to multiply. and (4) the gandharvas of the delightful city of Gāndhāra erected one stūpa each. the Bhagavān.15 [124] King Songtsen Gampo emanated as the fully ordained monk named Akarmatiśi and brought relics of the Tathāgata (taken) from the Indian Stūpa of Heaped Lotuses. (3) the king of Kalingka. trayastriṃśa] and descended again to the human realm in Kāśi [gsal ldan]. From the same stūpa. (This happened) in the same way every time the dharma of statements was either taught or studied. (the people of Kāśi) built (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of Descending from the Gods’. which correspond to the eight deeds of the Tathāgata. mdzangs blun. the Licchavis erected in Jetavana (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of the Miracles’. Urgyen (Padmasambhava). (4) When he tamed the six tīrtika teachers. the Mallas in Vaiśālī built (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of Complete Victory’. employing yakṣas as his servants. pages 335-337. These (relics) are presently located in the space between the eyebrows of ‘Jowo Rangjung Ngaden’. they built the ‘eight stūpas’ and others. (Using) eight great Maghadha measures [bre bo che] of the relics of the Tathāgata plus his burned and unburned clothes. 15 Heaven Tree. (5) When the Buddha. the Bhagavān. It is also said that when the Buddha. called the ‘miracle of illuminating the dharma’. the band of five built in Vārāṇasī (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of Multiple Doors of Auspiciousness’. (This happened) in the same way every time the dharma of realization was born in the minds (of the Buddha’s disciples). Fortunate people still obtain them nowadays and erect stūpas. the gods of the pure realms let a rain of flowers descend.” With (each of) the four incisor teeth of the Tathāgata. (King) Bimbisāra and others built (the stūpa called) ‘Stūpa of Taming the Māras’. erected at one billion places in Jambudvīpa one billion stūpas containing the relic essence of the Tathāgata. (6) When the schism in the saṃgha was reconciled. 12. Crystal Mirror Vol. (2) the nāgas below the city of Ruroka (Rāvaṇa). flowers and the like descend upon) all the sublime jewels of (both) the dharma of statements and of realization. (his father) Śuddhodana built in Kapila the ‘Stūpa of Heaped Lotuses’. (7) When (the Buddha) extended his lifespan.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 57 [121] (May a continuous rain of gems. (8) And (the Mallas also) built in Kuśinagara (the stūpa called) ‘Parinirvāṇa Stūpa’. the second buddha. including any type of dharma books. The Dharma King Aśoka.

58 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [125] ris-su-bris-pa blugs-su-blugs-pa ’bur-du-dod-pa’i sku-gzugs la ste / seng-ga-la’i- gling-gi-bu-mo mu-tig-’khri-shing bden-pa-la-’god-par-mdzad-pa’i ras-bris-kyi-thogma de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i bka’-yi-gnang-ba’i thang-sku-’od-zer-ma dang / bzo-rgyalkarma-bi-shvas rin-po-che sna-tshogs las de-bzhin--pa’i dgung-lo-nyer-lnga-ba’i-tshad dga’-ldan-lha’i-yul na bzhugs-pa dang bcu--pa’i-tshad jo-bo-rin-po-che shākya-mu-ni dang / brgyad-pa’i-tshad ra-mo-che-mi-bskyod-rdo-rje gnyis da-lta lha-sa na bzhugspa dang / tsan-dan-las-byas-pa’i jo-bo rgya-nag na bzhugs-pa la-sogs-pa dang / che brgya-rtsa-gcig las rang-byon-pa’i-sangs-rgyas-rdo-rje-’chang-gi-sku dang / gsung-rten-du bstan-pa-bu-gcig-gi-rgyud dang / thugs-rten-du rin-po-che brgya-rtsagcig gam gser-gyi-rje-rtse-lnga-pa khru-gang-ba gnas-bcu-gnyis la-sogs-pa gang-na rdzogs-pa-chen-po’i-chos dar-ba’i nam-mkha’i-gnas su ’byon-par-’gyur-ba la-sogs-pa ji-snyed-pa thams-cad la rin-chen sna-tshogs dang me-tog dang dri-bzang dang gos rgyan ’bru sman sna-tshogs-pa la-sogs-pa’i char-pa dus-rtag-tu rgyun-mi-’chad-par ’bab-par-shog-cig ces smon-pa ste / tshul-khrims-rnam-par-dag na smon-lam-ji-btab dngos-su-’grub-pa dang / de-ltar min-na’ang phan-yon-gyi-khyad-par ni ’thob-par’gyur ro // [126] gsang-sngags-rdo-rje’i-theg-pa nas / bstan-pa’i-btsas-gsum zhes sku-rten-du rin-po- [127] bzhi-pa bla-na-med-pa’i-mchod-pa ni / byang-chub-sems-dpa’ kun-tu-bzang-pos rang gi thugs-ka nas ’od-zer kha-dog mi-’dra-ba bye-ba-brgya-stong sangs-rgyas-kyizhing grangs-med-pa’i-rdul-mnyam-par spros ’od-zer de re-re’i rtse la yang byangchub-sems-dpa’ kun-tu-bzang-po rang-’dra-ba re-re sprul / de re-re’i thugs-ka nas sngar-dang-’dra-ba’i ’od-zer-spro zhing / de’i rtser kun-tu-bzang-po sprul-pa sogs grangs-med bsam-gyis-mi-khyab-pa’i bar-du spros te / de-dag re-res kyang mchodrdzas-kyi-rnam-grangs bsam-gyis-mi-khyab-pas phyogs-bcu’i-rgyal-ba sras-bcas mchod-pa kun-tu-bzang-po’i-mchod-pa’i-sprin lta-bu / .

(Again. Viśvakarma. spreading the teachings of the Great Perfection at the twelve places (of the twelve Dzogchen teachers) and others. grains. (even) billions of multi-colored light rays. whatever prayer you make will truly be fulfilled.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 59 [125] (And upon) images. and the Ramoche Akṣobhya. These are the offering clouds of Samantabhadra. among others. unexcelled offerings: The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra radiated from his heart center hundreds of thousands. see seventh 454. maiden [bu mo mu tig ’khri shing]. noble scents. you will (at least) achieve a special benefit. cast or done in relief: The first canvas painting was called the ‘Painting Taken From The Rays’ and was made on the Tathāgata’s instruction when he established the Singalese maiden Muktālatā16 in the truth. Unexcelled offerings [127] Fourth. The Jowo. medicines and the like continuously descend. both now remaining in Lhasa. made. as many as the atoms in the countless buddha fields. story of Kalpalatā. until he had radiated an incalculable and inconceivable (number). The representation of mind is a five-pronged vajra. one cubit tall. as many as exist. Even if that is not the case. page 452- . he emanated a Samantabhadra and so on. From the heart centers of each of these he radiated rays of light as before. The representation of body is a self-arisen statue of Buddha Vajradhara.) on the tips of each of these. The representation of speech is the ‘Single Son of the Teaching Tantra’. 16 Muktālatā. which (Viśvakarma) made out of sandalwood. which (now) remains in the Tuṣita god realm. varieties of clothes. each identical with himself. may a rain of various gems. These (three objects) travel through the sky. [126] According to the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna there are the ‘three objects of the doctrine’. drawn. from various jewels. (depicting the Buddha) at the age of twelve. a statue of the Tathāgata (depicting the Buddha) at the age of twenty-five. The king of artists. Thus pray. made out of one hundred and one jewels. ornaments. Each of these (Bodhisattva Samantabadhras) presented to the Victor and his sons an unimaginable amount of offering substances. (currently) remains in China. When your discipline is utterly pure. flowers. The Jowo Rinpoche Śākyamuni. Upon all these and other (sacred objects). On the tip of each light ray he emanated a Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. (depicting the Buddha) at the age of eight. made out of one hundred and one jewels or out of gold.

60 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 22 ji-ltar 'jam-dbyangs la-sogs-pas / rgyal-ba rnams la mchod mdzad-pa / de-bzhin bdag gis de-bzhin-gshegs / mgon-po sras dang-bcas rnams mchod / [128] ji-ltar ’jam-pa’i-dbyangs dang kun-tu-bzang-po la-sogs-pa sa-bcu’i-byang-chub-sems- dpa’ rnams kyis rnam-par-’phrul-pa’i-mchod-sprin mtha’-yas-pas phyogs-bcu’i rgyalba rdzogs-pa’i-sangs-rgyas rnams la mchod-pa-mdzad-pa yi tshul / dkon-mchog-tala las / me-tog-phal-cher me-tog-bla-re dang // me-tog-bkod-pa’i ’od-zer rab-bkye ste // me-tog sna-tshogs kun-tu-bkram-byas nas // bdag-nyid-chen-po de-dag rgyal-ba mchod // [129] ces-pa la-sogs-pa gsungs-pa-ltar de-bzhin-du bdag gis kyang de-bzhin-gshegs-pa mgon-po sras-dang-bcas-pa rnams la mchod-pa dbul-bar-bgyi’o snyam-du-mos-parbya’o // gzhan-yang byang-chub-tu-sems-bskeyd-pa / snying-rje-bsgom-pa / choskyi-tshig-don-’dzin-pa rnams kyang bla-na-med-pa’i-mchod-pa yin-pas de rnams kyang rang gis bya dgos so // inserted root text: stanza 23 yon-tan rgya-mtsho rnams la bdag bstod-dbyangs yan-lag rgya-mtsho bstod / bstod-dbyangs snyan-sprin de-dag la / nges-par kun-tu ’byung-gyur-cig / [130] lnga-pa bstod-pa-dbyangs-kyi-mchod-pa ni // sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das rnams sku mtshan-dpe / gsung tshangs-dbyangs / thugs rnam-mkhyen la-sogs-pa’i yon-tan rgya-mtsho lta-bu mnga’-ba sras byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs dang-bcas-pa rnams la bdag gis bstod-pa’i-dbyangs te skad-kyi-gdangs ’debs ’jog ’gyur khug phra sbom ste drug-ldan la-sogs-pa’i yan-lag rgya-mtshos te rgya-mtsho ltar mtha’-yas-pas bstod-par-bgyi zhing / bstod-pa’i-glu-dbyangs shin-tu-snyan-pa’i sprin-phung mtha’-yas-pa rnams rgyal-ba-sras-bcas de-dag rnams la nges-par te gdon-mi-za-bar dus-dang-rnam-pa-kun-tu khyab cing ’byung-bar-gyur-cig ces smon-pa’o // .

Canopies of flowers and flower arrangements. May boundless cloud banks of the most lovely melodies of praise sung.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 61 inserted root text: 22 In the same way as Mañjughoṣa and others Have made offerings to the victors. [130] Fifth. imagine. In the Ratnolka-sūtra it is said: Emanating light rays of multitudes of flowers. May clouds of lovely melodies of praise Actually ascend to them at all times. the victors and their sons.” Furthermore. I offer all these to the great being. . The protectors and their sons. “I present offerings of gifts to the tathagathas. with boundless emanated offering clouds. because developing bodhicitta. Offerings of melodious praise inserted root text: stanza 23 I praise the oceans of qualities With an ocean of variations of melodious eulogies. Samantabhadra and others of the tenth level bodhisattvas have made offerings to the victors of the ten directions. (2) pausing ['jog]. actually and without doubt. (4) sliding [khug]. the Victor. [129] Similarly to what has been said (in this quote) and in other (texts). the (60 aspects of) melodious speech. meditating on compassion. and retaining the words and meanings of the teachings are (in themselves) unexcelled offerings. and so forth. ascend and spread to them. [128] In the same way as Mañjughoṣa. the bodhisattvas. And by displaying a variety of flowers everywhere. together with the host of his sons. such as (1) rising ['degs]. you should practice these. with an ocean—a limitless ocean—of variations of melodious eulogies in the six modes of vocal tones. the omniscience of his mind and others. (3) alternating ['gyur]. the offerings of melodious praise: I praise the Buddha. (I also offer). Similarly I present offerings to the tathāgatas. (5) high [phra] and (6) low [sbom]. to the perfectly enlightened ones. the Bhagavān. who is endowed with oceans of qualities such as the major marks and minor signs on his body. at all times and in all circumstances. Thus pray. the protectors and their sons.

62 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 24 dus-gsum-gshegs-pa’i-sangs-rgyas kun / chos dang tshogs-kyi-mchog bcas la / zhing-rdul kun gyi grangs-snyed kyi / lus-btud-pas ni bdag phyag-’tshal / [131] gnyis-pa phyag-’tshal-ba’i-yan-lag ni / phyogs-bcu’i-zhing mtha’-yas-pa na ’das-pa dang ma-’ongs-pa dang da-lta ste dus-gsum-du-gshegs-shing-bzhugs-pa’i-sangsrgyas bcom-ldan-’das kun dang lung-dang-rtogs-pa’i-dam-pa’i-chos dang tshogsrnams-kyi-mchog ’dus nas ’bral-ba-med-pa dge-’dun dang-bcas-pa rnams la rang-gilus phyogs-bcu’i-zhing-gi-rdul phra-rab kun-gyi-grangs-ji-snyed-yod-pa de snyedkyi-grangs dang-mnyam-par sprul nas lus-btud-cing-gus-pas thal-mo-gnas-gsum-dugtugs te lus-thams-cad sa-la-phab-pa’am yan-lag-lnga sa-la-phab-pa dang / ngag guspas phyag-’tshal-gyi-tshig dang / yid gus-pas dkon-mchog-rin-po-che-gsum-gyi-cheba’i yon-tan dran te gus shing dad-pas ni bdag-cag gis phyag-’tshal-ba dang / inserted root text: 25 byang-chub-sems kyi gzhi rnams dang / mchod-rten rnams la bdag phyag-‘tshal / mkhan-po de-bzhin slob-dpon dang / brtul-zhugs-mchog la phyag-’tshal-lo / [132] de-bzhin-du gang byang-chub-sems-kyi-gzhi zhes sangs-rgyas-kyi-sku-gzugs dang / theg-chen-gyi-sde-snod dang ston-pa’i-sku-bltam-pa’i-gnas la-sogs dang / semsbskyed-gling sogs chos’-chad-nyan-byed-pa’i-gnas gzhi rnams dang / sku-gsungthugs-kyi-rten dang mchod-rten gang-ji-snyed-yod-pa rnams la’ang bdag-nyid phyag-’tshal zhing / .

and to the sublime dharma of statements and realization. the bhagavāns. collections of Mahāyāna scriptures. to the preceptors and to the teachers As well as to those of supreme discipline. [132] Likewise.17 (I pay respect) by devotedly bowing down with my bodies. With devotion in my voice. [131] Second. I pay respect. places where the dharma is taught and studied. to what is called the basis of bodhicitta: images of the Buddha. (places where there are) representations of body. present and future—in the infinite buddha fields of the ten directions. Likewise. . I pay respect. the section on paying respect: To all the buddhas. by multiplying my body to be as numerous as the number of all the most subtle atoms in the buddha fields of the ten directions. Khenpo Kunpal writes ‘we’ [bdag cag]. I recall the qualities of the three precious jewels. (holy) places such as the birthplace of the teacher and others. throat and heart). and to (all) stūpas. inserted root text: stanza 25 To the basis of bodhicitta And to (all) stūpas I pay respect. 17 In the Tibetan commentarial text. to these. To the dharma and the supreme among gatherings. (meaning) the supreme among gatherings. I pay respect. and to the saṃgha.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 63 The section on paying respect inserted root text: 24 To all buddhas who appear throughout the three times. as many as there are. such as places where bodhicitta is developed. with devotion and faith. I (recite) the words of paying respect. who appear and dwell throughout the three times—in past. or by lowering my five limbs to the ground. throwing all my (multiplied) bodies to the ground (in full prostration). I pay respect. those who are inseparable from the gathering. touching my (joined) palms in veneration to the three places (of forehead. Bowing down with bodies as numerous As all the atoms in the buddha fields. speech and mind. With devotion in my mind.

yas-pa’i-lha-nga sa-la-’dzugs-pa na sems-can thams-cad g.64 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [133] so-thar-gyi-mkhan-po dang de lung-non-pa la’ang gsungs / de-bzhin-du dge-tshul- slong-gi-las-slob dang klog-slob-pa-po la-sogs-pa’i slob-dpon rnams dang / brtulzhugs zhes-bya-ba snga-ma brtul te rjes-ma la zhugs-pas brtul-zhugs te ston-pa’i-rjes’jug rtags-tsam-’dzin-pa yan-chad brtul-zhugs-mchog ste gos-dkar-lcang-lo’i-sde dang rab-byung-ngur-smrig-gi-sde rnams la mi-phyed-dad-pas kun-nas-bslangs te sgo-gsum gus-pas phyag-’tshal-lo zhes lus-ngag-yid-gsum-kyi-phyag gi nang-nas yid gtso-bas kha-yengs-mig-yengs kyi ngang-nas phyag mang-po ’tshal-ba bas sems-thognas phyag-gcig-tsam ’tshal-ba chod-che zhing phan-yon-che’o // drang-po-bzhi-ldan gyi sgo-nas rang-gi-g.yas-su pha g.yonphyogs ’khyogs-po’i-lam la gnas-pa thams-cad ’phags-pa’i-lam yang-dag-pa la gnaspar-gyur-cig ces brjod cing bsam mo // .yon-lha-nga sa-la-’dzugs-pa na sems-can gang-su-dag g.yon-du ma mdun-du dgrabgegs dang mtha’-skor-du sems-can thams-cad sa-gzhi’i-ngos la rdul-’khrigs-pa bzhin-du yod-par bsam ste thams-cad kyis lus gus-pas lag gnyis kyi thal-mo’i bar-du nor-bu bzung-bar bsams te / thar-mdo las / padma-kha-’bus-phyes’ dra-ba’i // lag-gnyis-spyi-bor-thal-sbyar te / zhes gsungs-pa ltar / [134] de-yang lus-drang-por-bsrangs-bas rtsa-rlung-sems rnams drangs-bar-’gyur-bas [135] legs-par-sbyar-ba spyi-mgrin-snying-ka-gsum du rim-par gtugs-pa na de-bzhin- gshegs-pa rnams kyi sku-gsung-thugs-kyi-yon-tan dran zhing de dang der phyag’tshal-bas rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi lus-ngag-yid-gsum gyi sgrib-pa thamscad dang-bral nas dbu gtsug-tor-bltar-mi-mngon-pa dang / gsung chos-kyi-dung dang / thugs dpal-gyi-be’u’am sku-gsung-thugs-mi-zad-pa-rgyan-gyi-’khor-lo’i-yontan thams-cad thob-par-shog-cig ces bsam nas [136] lus-thams-cad kyis sa-la-phab-pa’am yan-lag-lnga sa-la-phab-pa na bsam-par-bya-ba mdo las gsungs-pa ’di-ltar pus-mo-g.yas-phyogs drang-ba’i-lam la gnas-par-shog-cig ces brjod cing bsam-parbya’o // pus-mo-g.

and the ordained assembly with saffron (robes)—(note) ‘discipline’ means ‘someone who has given up and entered’ since (a practitioner) has given up his previous (conduct) and entered (into a new conduct)—to (all) these. As it is said in the Ghanajā-sūtra: The palms joined above your head. Both hands (cupped) like an opening lotus bud. the teachers for reading and so forth. . Surrounding you are all sentient beings arranged like dust on the surface of the earth.” Or (think).” 18 The three doors of body. motivated by indivisible faith. touch them successively to the top of your head. myself and others. imagine your father to your right. think and say. “May we achieve all qualities of the unceasing ornamental wheel of body.” When putting the kneecap of your left knee on the ground. speech and mind. likewise to the teachers such as instructors for monks and fully ordained monks.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 65 [133] To the preceptors of prātimokṣa and to those who give reading transmissions. prana and mind are straight. then nāḍī. hold a jewel between the palms of both hands. May we achieve upon our head the invisible uṣṇīṣa. and in our heart center the infinite knot. be free from the obscurations of body. “May all sentient beings to my left side. Imagine that all (these beings). speech and mind. [135] Thus. to your throat center and to your heart center. [134] If one’s body is positioned straight. endowed with the four-fold straightness. Therefore. and your enemies and obstructors in front of you. think and say. “May all sentient beings to my right side dwell on the straight path.18 Because mind is the most important (factor) when paying respect with body. you may imagine what is stated in the sūtras: When putting the kneecap of your right knee on the ground. your mother to your left. such as the (tantric) assembly with white clothes and long hair. in our throat center the dharma conch. in a devoted body (posture). speech and mind. speech and mind of the tathāgatas. “May all sentient beings. it is more important and of greater benefit to merely do a single prostration with (an undistracted) mind than to offer many prostrations in a state of distraction and nervousness. think. as well as from those who only uphold the mere symbol of being a follower of the teaching up to those of supreme discipline. I pay respect with devotion through the three doors. speech and mind. and remember the qualities of body. remain on the perfect path of noble beings. join (your palms) properly.” [136] Whether you throw your entire body to the ground or touch your five limbs to the ground. While you pay respect to them in this way. those dwelling on a crooked path.

yon-pa sa-la-’dzugs-pa na sems-can gang-su-dag byis-pa’i-chos la gnas te / g.yon-phyogs-su-’dzin-pa gdul-dka’-ba de-dag bsdu-ba’i-dngos-po-bzhis shin-tusdud-par-gyur-cig ces brjod cing bsam mo // de’i gdong dang dpral-ba sa-la-gtugs-pa na sems-cad thams-cad nga-rgyal-ma-mchis-pa ’dis bla-ma la rim-gro-bgyid-pa rnyed cing spyi-gtsug-bltar-mi-mngon-pa ’thob-pa dang / dge-ba’i-chos thams-cad ’phagspar-gyur-cig ces brjod cing bsam mo // [139] de-ltar yan-lag-lngas-phyag-’tshal-ba’dis // sems-can thams-cad kyi sgrib-pa-lnga sel- bar-gyur-cig // dbang-po-lnga yongs-su-rdzogs-par-gyur-cig // ’dod-pa’i-yon-tanlnga yongs-su-shes-par-gyur-cig / mngon-par-shes-pa-nyams-pa-med-pa-lnga thobpar-gyur-cig // mig-lnga yongs-su-dag-par-gyur-cig // ’gro-ba rgyud-lngar-skyespa-rnams ’gro-ba-lnga las khyad-par-du-’phags-par-gyur-cig // tshul-khrims khyadpar-du-’phags-pa-dang / ting-nge-’dzin khyad-par-du-’phags-pa dang / shes-rab khyad-par-du-’phags-pa dang / rnam-par-grol-ba kyhad-par-’phags-pa dang / rnampar-grol-ba’i-ye-shes-mthong-ba khyad-par-du-’phags-par-gyur-cig ces brjod cing bsam-par-bya’o zhes gsungs so // [140] de’i phan-yon yang ji-skad-du / lus-btud dbang-chen-bar-gyi-rdul-dag dang // mnyam-pa’i ’khor-los-bsgyur-rgyal grangs thob zhing // mthar-thug zhi-ba mchog-gi-go-’phang ’thob // ces so // [141] gsum-pa skyabs-su-’gro-ba’i-yan-lag ni / de la chos thams-cad kyi sgo-dbye sdom-pa thams-cad kyi gzhi-rten / yon-tan thams-cad kyi ’byung-gnas / phyi-nang-gi-khyadpar-’byed-pa dang / nang-pa’i-gral du tshud-byed skyabs-’gro ’di-nyid yin-pas shintu don-che-ba ste [142] de-yang chos thams-cad kyi sgo-dbye yin te / nang-pa’i-chos-sgo gang la zhugs kyang dang-po skyabs-’gro nas ’jug dgos-pa’i phyir dang / [143] sdom-pa thams-cad kyi gzhi-rten yang yin te / skyabs-’gro-bdun-bcu-pa las // sdom-pa kun la yod-mod-kyang // skyabs su ma song-ba la med // ces ma-gi bsnyen-gnas-yan-lag-brgyad-pa nas ya-gi gsang-sngags-kyi-sdom-pa’i bar thams-cad skyabs su ma song-ba’i gang-zag rnams la ston-pas ma gnang la / skyabs’gro’i-sdom-pa dang ldan-pa la sdom-pa thams-cad gnang-ba’i phyir ro // .yas-pa sa-la-’dzugs-pa na ji-ltar de-bzhin-gshegs-pa byang-chub-kyi-snying- po-shing drung-du bzhugs te bsod-nams-brgya-las-grub-pa’i phyag-g.yas-sa-labsnun-nas bdud-sde dpung-dang-bcas-pa brtul te byang-chub-brnyes-pa de-bzhin-du sems-can thams-cad kyis kyang bdud dang phyir-brgol-ba thams-cad chom-par-gyurcig / byang-chub-kyi-snying-po la ’dug cing lag-pas-sa-chen-po-la-bsnun nas sangsrgyas-kyi-ye-shes thob-par-shog-cig brjod cing bsam mo // [138] de’i lag-pa-g.66 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [137] lag-pa-g.

through the four means of attraction. as many as there are atoms on the ground. “May the five obscurations of all beings be removed. think and say. you have none. a special knowledge. composed of hundreds of merits. without any arrogance.” [139] When paying respect with the five limbs (touching the ground). . as it marks the difference between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. an especially exalted samādhi. In the same way. the basis of all precepts. who cling to the wrong direction. who have sat in front of the Bodhi Tree. because no matter which door of the Buddhist teachings one enters through. think and say. to the ground. and as it causes one to enter the ranks of the Buddhists. May they become especially exalted beings among those born in the five classes of beings. serve their teachers. May they sit in front of the Bodhi Tree. a special liberation and a special insight into liberating wisdom. (going for refuge) has extremely great significance. the section on going for refuge: As it is the doorway to all teachings. The section on going for refuge [141] Third. achieve the invisible uṣṇīṣa. may all sentient beings defeat all māras and opponents. As the Triśaraṇa-saptati states: You might possess all precepts. May the five capacities be entirely perfected. and become exalted in the virtuous dharma. touch their (right) hands to the ground and attain the wisdom of the Buddha. or who are difficult to tame. say and think. [142] Now. [143] (Going for refuge) is the basis for all precepts. the source of all qualities. you will attain the level of supreme peace. May they achieve. touched their right hands. “May I gather all beings who adhere to worldly dharma. May they have an especially exalted discipline. You will become a world monarch many times over and Ultimately. But if you have not gone for refuge. “May all beings. A teacher will never give any precpet. defeated Māra and his armies and attained enlightenment. “All the tathāgatas. think and say. (going for refuge) is the doorway to all teachings.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 67 [137] When placing the right hand on the ground. to people who have not gone for refuge. you must enter (only) after you have first gone for refuge. from the eight precepts observed for one day up to the precepts of Secret Mantra.” [138] When placing the left hand on the ground.” [140] The benefits are as said: If you bow down your bodies. May (all beings) completely understand (the nature of) the five sense pleasures. but he will give all precepts to one endowed with the precepts of going for refuge.” When touching your head or forehead to the ground. without any decrease. the five supernatural powers. May the five eyes be utterly pure.

68 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [144] yon-tan thams-cad kyi ’byung-gnas kyang yin te / skyabs-sdom med-pa’i gang-zag gis so-byang-sngags-gsum-gyi-lam gang nyams-su-blangs kyang phan-pa-med de / ’bri-gung-skyob-pa-rin-po-ches / skyabs-’gro’i chos-gzhug shor na phan-pa-med // ces gsungs shing / [145] dper-na rming-rdo med-pas gyang dang ri-mo med-pa bzhin no // skyabs-sdom dang ldan-pa’i gang-zag gis so-byang-sngags-gsum-gyi-lam gang nyams-su-blangs kyang de dang de’i lam dang ’bras-bu’i yon-tan rnams ’byung-ba’i phyir dper-na rming-rdo brtan-pa’i gyang dang ri-mo bzhin no // [146] phyi-nang-gi-khyad-par-’byed-byed dang nang-pa-sangs-rgyas-pa’i-gral-du-tshud- byed yin te / phyi-nang-gi-khyad-par ’di la gang-zag-gi-bdag-’dod-pa dang mi ’dodpas ’byed-pa yod kyang / de-ltar-na rang-sde-gnas-ma-bu-bas / khur-khyer-ba yi gang-zag yod // rtag gam mi-rtag mi brjod do // zhes brjod-med-kyi-bdag-’dod-pas nang-pa ma yin-par-’gyur zhing / [147] spyir mu-stegs-pa zhes-pa ci-yang-mi-shes-pa zhig min te / rgya-gar jo-bo’i slob-ma paṇḍi-ta-sa’i-snying-po zhes-pas phyi-nang-gi-grub-mtha’ la lan-gsum-rer zhugs kyang phyi-nang-gi-khyad-dbye-ma-shes-pa’i tshul ltar gsungs / paṇḍi-ta-dpal-ldanjo-bo-chen-pos kyang / ’phags-yul na mkhas-pa’i-sgo-drug la-sogs-pa bzhugs kyang / nga yi bla-ma shin-ta-ba ni gshegs / nga ni bod du ’ongs-bas rgya-gar na phyi-nanggi-dbye-ba shes-pa med gsungs-pa dang / nyid kyis kyang stod-mnga’-ris-yul du / skyabs-’gro kho-na gsungs-pas / mtshan yang skyabs-’gro’i-paṇḍi-ta zhes btags-pa na bod-kyi-mkhas-pa rnams kyis khyed kyis chos gzhan-zhig gsungs dgos te / ma gsungs na khyed kyi mtshan la yang skyabs-’gro’i-paṇḍi-ta btags-par ’dug zhus-pa la jo-bo nyid thugs-dgyes te / bdag gi ming-tsam gyis kyang sangs-rgyas-kyi-bstan-pa la bya-ba-byed ’dug gsungs / [148] ’bri-gung-skyob-pas kyang / mdor-na dam-pa’i-chos thams-cad skyabs-’gro nyag- gcig la ’dus la zab-gnad kyang yin gsungs / .

you will gain no benefits. all sublime teachings can be condensed only into refuge. bodhicitta or mantra— will gain no benefits. 19 Our own school [rang sde] here means ‘our own Buddhist school’ [nang pa sangs rgyas pa’i sde tshan]. he made a profound point. yet my guru. as (this school) believes in an inexpressible identity. what is called a tīrtika is not someone without knowledge. [145] For instance. The great lord. because it is said that Atiśa’s Indian student called Paṇḍita Kṣitigarbha studied the Buddhist and nonBuddhist philosophies three times each but could not detect the difference between Buddhism and non-Buddhism. 20 Vātsīputrīyas. Śintava. bodhisattva or mantra—will achieve all qualities of that path and its fruition. “In short.” Because (Atiśa) taught in the district of Upper Ngari only on going for refuge. within our own (Buddhist) schools. but as you refuse. “You should teach also another dharma.” [148] Drigung Kyobpa said. bodhisattva or mantra) are just like walls and frescos which are resting on a firm foundation. See Map of the Profound. [146] (Going for refuge) marks the difference between Buddhists and non-Buddhists and [147] Generally. regardless of the path he has practiced—prātimokṣa. stating: There is an identity that I carry like a load. has passed away. is one of the eighteen śrāvaka sub-schools [nyan thos sde ba bco brgyad].Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 69 [144] (Going for refuge) is the source of all qualities. One might mark the difference between Buddhist and non-Buddhist by the belief or disbelief in a personal identity.19 the (śrāvaka sub-school called) Vātsīputrīyas20 would be (considered) non-Buddhist. the glorious Paṇḍita (Atiśa) said.” Thus. I cannot say whether it is permanent or impermanent. Therefore. “Merely through my name alone I work for the teaching of the Buddha. without a foundation (a house) can have no mud walls and frescos. pages 210-218. your name should be refuge paṇḍita. (the practices of prātimokṣa. As Drigung Kyobpa Rinpoche said: If you lack refuge. (his students) gave him the name ‘the paṇḍita of refuge’. the follwers of Vātsīputra [gnas ma bu’i sde]. Since I have come to Tibet no one in India knows how to distinguish between Buddhist and non-Buddhist. A person endowed with the refuge precepts. However. which is the root of the dharma. “Though in the land of noble ones (India) the ‘six gatekeeper paṇḍitas’ and others might be still alive. causes you to enter the ranks of the Buddhists. . because a person who lacks the refuge precepts.” Lord (Atiśa) was delighted about this and replied. The scholars of Tibet told him. regardless of which path he practices— prātimokṣa.

70 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [149] de-lta-bu’i skyabs-’gro de ’chad-par-byed-pa la spyi-don dang / gzhung-don gnyis las / dang-po la / rgyu / ngo bo / dbye ba / so-so’i-don-bshad-pa dang bzhi / [150] dang-po rgyu ni / dang-’dod-yid-ches-phyir-mi-ldog-pa’i-dad la las phyi-ma’o // [151] gnyis-pa ngo-bo ni ’jigs-pa las sgrol-ba’i don-du skyabs-su-’dzin-pa khas-len cing dam-bcas-pa’o / de-yang gsol-’debs dang ma-nor-ba-zhig dgos te / gsol-’debs ni rang la nyes-pa sogs gang-yang-rung-ba byung tshe yul de la dngos-po-zhus te de las bdag bsrung-bar-gsol-ba’am zhu-ba-phul-du-’ong-ba yin te / dper-na mi-nyes-can-zhig gis dpon la lkog-nor-phul nas bdag la nyes-chad mi ’byung-bar gsol-ba-’debs-pa lta-bu yin la / [152] skyabs-’gro ni mdo-rgyan las / khas-len de-yang zhes-pa ltar rang gis dus-da-nas- bzung-ste skyid-sdug legs-nyes / mtho-dman ci-byung-yang khyed-las-re-ltos-gzhandu-med snyam-pas dkon-mchog-gsum la skyabs-gnas su khas-len cing dam-bca’-ba yin la / mdor-na skyabs-’gro’i-ngo-bo khas-len dang dam-bca’ yin-par shes-pa galche’o // [153] gsum-pa dbye-ba ni / skyabs-yul gyi sgo-nas dbye-ba yod kyang ’dir gtso-bo kun- slong gis dbye-ba yin la / de-la-yang ’jig-rten-pa’i-skyabs-’gro dang / ’jig-rten-las’das-pa’i-skyabs-’gro dang gnyis / ’das-pa la’ang theg-dman dang theg-chen-gyiskyabs-’gro gnyis / theg-chen la-yang gnas-skabs-rgyu’i-skyabs-’gro / mthar-thug’bras-bu’i-skyabs-’gro gnyis so // .

“It is also acceptance. begging him. In short. (the explanation of) the essence (of going for refuge): In order to be liberated from fear. (the explanation of) the base: Among (the four types of faith)—faith of amazement. At the time when something happens.” then this is a supplication. and (4) (the explanation of) the individual meaning (of going for refuge).” (Going for refuge) is thinking. Mahāyāna (refuge) again (can be distinguished between) temporary causal refuge and ultimate resultant refuge. confident faith. The explanation of the distinctions of going for refuge [153] Third. “Please do not let me be punished!” [152] Concerning going for refuge. faith of inspiration. “From now on. for instance. As far as the transcendent (refuge) is concerned. (3) (the explanation of) the distinctions (of going for refuge). There is worldly refuge and transcendent refuge. 21 dngos po zhu connotes to ask for help [rogs pa zhu / skyabs ’jug zhu]. Of these two. 22 See text section 151 . The explanation of the base of going for refuge [150] First. whether I am in a high or low (position)—whatever happens—I put all my hope and trust in you and no one else. It is like an evildoer offering bribes to an official. One should not confuse (refuge) with a supplication. (2) (the explanation of) the essence (of going for refuge). if one asks help21 from a (worldly or transcendent) object (of refuge). accepts it and commits to it. there is (the explanation of) the general meaning and (the explanation of) the meaning of the text. one identifies a refuge. The explanation of the essence of going for refuge [151] Second. (the explanation of) the distinctions: Although one can make distinctions with regard to the objects of going for refuge. making a special prayer or request (such as). in good or bad (circumstances). the first (the explanation of the general meaning) has four (points): (1) (the explanation of) the base (of going for refuge). there is the Hinayāna refuge and the Mahāyāna refuge. (irreversible faith). if one has a problem. here the distinctions are made mainly in terms of one’s motivation. whether I am happy or sad. it is important to understand that the essence of going for refuge is acceptance and commitment.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 71 The explanation of the general meaning [149] When explaining going for refuge. “Please protect me from this (problem).” (In this way). the Sūtrālaṃkāra22 states. and irreversible faith—the base of going for refuge is the latter. one accepts and commits to the three jewels as one’s place of refuge.

72 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [154] bzhi-pa so-so’i-don-bshad-pa la // mdo-rgyal-mtshan-dam-pa las / ’jigs-pas skrag-pa’i mi dag-gis // phal-cher ri dang nags-tshal dang // kun-dga’-ra-ba ljon-shing dang // mchod-rten rnams la skyabs-su-’gro // skyabs de gtso-bo ma yin te // skyabs de-dag la brten nas ni // sdug-bsngal che las thar-mi-’gyur // ces-pa-ltar / [155] gnas-skabs nad-gdon la-sogs-pa’i rkyen-phran-bu-tsam la skrag nas ri dang nags-tshal sogs kyi lha dang / dbang-phyug dang tshangs-pa khyab-’jug dang sde-brgyad lasogs-pa la skyabs-su-’dzin-pa yin la / de-dag gis sdug-bsngal thams-cad las skyob-pa lta-ci ste gnas-skabs-kyi-’jigs-pa las skyabs-par yang ma-nges-pas gtso-bo’am mchog min la // de-la skyabs-yul / dkon-mchog-gsum yin kyang bsam-pa ’jig-rten-pa yin na ’jig-rten-pa’i-skyabs-’gro yin no // [156] ’jig-rten-las-’das-pa’i-skyabs-’gro la’ang / theg-dman-gyi-skyabs-’gro ni rkang-gnyis- rnams-kyi-mchog sangs-rgyas zhes rkang-gnyis-mi-rnams-kyi-mchog rgyal-ba-thubpa lta-bu mchog-gi-sprul-pa’i-sku ste // thugs chos-sku dang sku-lus gzugs-sku-gnyis sangs-rgyas dang / zhi-ba ’dod-chags-dang-bral-ba-rnams-kyi-mchog dam-pa’i-chos zhes / spang-bya nyon-mongs sa-bon dang-bcas-pa spangs-ba’i-spang-ba’ang myang’das sam ’gog-pa chos dang / tshogs-rnams-kyi-mchog dge-’dun zhes gang-zag-girgyud du sngar-med gsar-du-’dus-pa’i-rtogs-pa de ’gro-ba-lha-dang-bcas-pas lambden dang gang-zag gnyis so-sor-dbye-bar-mi-nus-pas ’dus-pa-rnams-kyi-mchog dge-’dun yin te / sang-ga ’dus-pa la’o ces so // ’dus-pa gzhan ni skyes-pa’i-tha-ma’chi / ’dus-pa’i-tha-ma-’bral-bar-’gyur-ba la-sogs-pas mchog ma yin no // de’ang slob-pa-rgyun-zhugs-phyir-’ong-phyir-mi-’ong-gsum dang / mi-slob-pa-dgra-bcompa dang bzhi’o // [157] de-lta-bu’i dkon-mchog-gsum la kun-slong rang-nyid srid-pa-’khor-ba’i-’jigs-pa la skrag-nas phung-po la gshed-ma ral-gri-thogs-pa lta-bu dang / khams la sbrul-gdug lta-bu sogs su bltas te / de las grol-bar-’dod-pa’i bsam-pas gnas-skabs dus ji-srid-’tshoba’i-bar dang mthar-thug rang lam-gyi-’bras-bu ma-thob-kyi-bar-du skyabs-su-’gro-ba yin no // .

(saying). and the arhats (belonging to the path of) no-more-learning. the Hinayāna refuge. but is now newly ‘gathered’. They will never be liberated from great suffering. demons and the like. this becomes a worldly refuge if one’s motivation is worldly. it is called ‘the supreme among gatherings. Other gatherings are not supreme because. free from all craving. and until I have reached the fruition of my path. [156] Regarding the transcendent refuge. Neither men nor gods can separate the (realization of the) truth of the path from the person (who has realized it). the once-returner and the non-returner (belonging to the path of) learning. to the sublime dharma. forests and so forth. as the limited time-span. It is also nirvāṇa as well as cessation. the Dvajāgra-sūtra states: People frightened by fear Generally go for refuge To mountains. “Frightened by the horrors of saṃsāric existence—perceiving my body as though an executioner had raised his sword over it and the elements as if they were poisonous snakes.” The supreme among humans are the nirmāṇakāyas such as the Victor. But even if the objects of one’s refuge are the three jewels. What is gathered ends in separation. Needless to mention that they cannot protect one from all suffering. Therefore. “To the supreme among humans. and thus wishing to be liberated from them—I go for refuge until the end of my life. regarding the explanation of the individual meaning. That is to say. One says. Śākyamuni. [155] Being temporarily frightened by minor circumstances such as diseases. that is. all afflictions together with their seeds.” (The saṃgha is comprised of) the stream-enterer. Therefore. Although these are not the main refuge. and (gods) such as Īśvara. as the ultimate time-span. One says. By relying on these as a refuge. (people) take as refuge gods such as mountains.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 73 The explanation of the individual meaning of going for refuge [154] Fourth. [157] To these three jewels you go for refuge with the (following) motivation. they are not the main or supreme (refuge). Viṣṇu and the eight classes of local deities. groves. to the Buddha. “What is born ends in death.” . ‘Buddha’ (signifies) that his mind is the dharmakāya and his body is the twofold rūpakāya.” ‘Dharma’ (signifies) the overcoming of what should be overcome. “To the supreme gathering.” This refers to a realization that was previously absent in the mind of a person. forests. Trees and (non-Buddhist) stūpas. whether they can even protect one from temporary fear is uncertain. to the saṃgha. “To the supreme and peaceful. Brahma. the saṃgha’. ‘Saṃgha’ connotates ‘gathering’. as it is said. one says.

74 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [158] theg-chen-gyi-skyabs-’gro ni / ma-nam-mkha’-dang-mnyam-pa’i-sems-can rnams la snying-rje drag-po shas-mi-bzod-pa bskyed nas snying-rje-sar-mi-bzhag-par de-dag sdug-bsngal de las sgrol-bar-bya dgos la de-yang rang-nyid ma grol-bar gzhan-sgrolmi-nus-pas / rang-gzhan-thams-cad srid-zhi’i-’jigs-pa las sgrol phyir theg-chen-gyidkon-mchog-gsum la byang-chub-snying-po-ma-thob-bar-du skyabs-su’gro-ba yin la / [159] de-la’ang gnas-skabs-rgyus-skyabs-’gro dang / mthar-thug-’bras-bu’i-skyabs-’gro gnyis las / [160] dang-po ni / rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad srid-zhi’i-’jigs-pa las sgrol-ba’i phyir du gzhan-rgyud-la-byon-zin-gyi-dkon-mchog-gsum la skyabs-su-’gro-ba yin la / de jiltar zhe-na / thun-mong-ltar-bshad-na bdag-cag-gi-ston-pas sngon dang-po thugsbskyed de bskal-pa-grangs-med-gsum du tshogs-bsags nas / mthar rgyal-po-zasgtsang gi sras-su-’khrugs-nas byang-chub-shing drung-du mngon-par-byang-chub-pa rgyal-ba-shākya-thub-pa lta-bu rang-rgyud-las-tha-dad-pa’i sangs-rgyas sku-bzhi’am sku-gsum gyi bdag nyid sangs-rgyas-dkon-mchog dang / sangs-rgyas dang byangsems kyi thugs-rgyud na bzhugs-pa’i lung-dang-rtogs-pa’i-chos dam-chos-dkonmchog dang / byang-chub-sems-dpa’ phyir-mi-ldog-pa rje-btsun-’jam-pa’i-dbyangs dang / byams-pa la-sogs-pa rang-las-tha-dad-pa’i dge-’dun te dge-’dun-dkon-mchog dang gsum la skyabs-su-’gro-ba’o // [161] gnyis-pa ’bras-skyabs ni / mgon-pa-byams-pas / ’di ni de dngos ’dod-pas khas-len de yang snying-brtse las rig-bya // zhes-pa-ltar / rang-gzhan gyi srid-zhi’i-rgud-pa sel phyir mthar-thug-gi-dkon-mchog-gsum rang-rgyud la sgrub-par dam-bca’-ba yin la / mthar rang-rgyud la mchog-gsum de grub-pa na srid-zhi’i-’jigs-pa las grol-ba yin-pas skyabs-gnas-mthar-thug kyang de yin te / [162] theg-pa-chen-po-rgyud-bla-ma las / dam-pa’i-don du ’gro-ba yi // skyabs ni sangs-rgyas-nyag-gcig ste // thub-pa chos-kyi-sku-can phyir // tshogs kyang de yi mthar-thug go // ces gsungs-pa-ltar ro // .

Eventually. one must liberate them from suffering. therefore. Maitreya and others. he had gathered the accumulations for countless aeons. in order to liberate myself and all sentient beings from the fear of existence and peace. it can be explained in a general way. as long as one is not liberated oneself.” [159] This (Mahāyāna refuge) also has two points: (1) (the explanation of) the temporary causal refuge and (2) (the explanation of) the ultimate resultant refuge. I will be freed from the fear of existence and peace and will become myself the ultimate refuge object. the dharma of statements and realization present in the minds of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. one cannot liberate others. Not only must one not forsake them as objects for compassion. attained complete enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree and became the Victor. Śākyamuni. I go for refuge to the three jewels. one says. [162] From the Uttara-tantra: Understand that the ultimate refuge Is only the Buddha. infinite as the reaches of space. But. which have manifested for the minds of others. The explanation of the ultimate resultant refuge [161] Second. to the jewel of the sublime dharma. In former times. the embodiment of the four or three kāyas of the Buddha. one goes for refuge to the three (jewels): to the jewel of the Buddha. I go for refuge to the three jewels of Mahāyāna until the attainment of the essence of enlightenment. the (ultimate) resultant refuge: As Lord Maitreya said (in the Sūtrālaṃkāra): “Understand that because this (person) wishes (to obtain in himself) the real (three jewels).“ In order to remove all suffering of existence and peace for myself and others. Eventually. his very acceptance is (born) out of compassion and love. Therefore. when our teacher developed bodhicitta for the first time. “In order to liberate myself and all others from the fear of existence (saṃsāra) and peace (nirvāṇa). Of these two the first: The explanation of the temporary causal refuge [160] First. also the ultimate gathering. when I have accomplished the three supreme ones in my mind. Were one to ask what this means. . the non-returners among the bodhisattvas such as the venerable Mañjuśri. I commit to accomplish in my own mind the three jewels. and to the jewel of the saṃgha. the saṃgha as different from myself. different from my own mind. In this way. he was born as the son of King Śuddhodana.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 75 [158] (Regarding the transcendent) Mahāyāna refuge: One develops strong and unbearable [shas mi bzod pa] compassion for all mother-beings. The Muni’s (mind) is the dharmakāya And is.

76 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [163] spyir rgyud-bla-ma’i don yang skyabs-’gro las-gzhan-med-par shes-dgos shing / khams byang-chub yon-tan phrin-las bzhis ’bras-skyabs kyang bstan-par gsungs / des-na rgyu’i-skyabs-’gros srid-zhi’i-’jigs-pa thams-cad las sgrol mi nus-pas skyabsmthar-thug-pa ma yin no // [164] de-ltar-na ’bras-skyabs dang smon-sems gnyis gcig-tu-’gyur-bas khyad ci-yin zhe-na / slob-dpon-dbyig-gnyen la rang-las-lhag-pa’i bu bzhi yod-pa las / mngon-pa rang-lasmkhas-pa slob-dpon-blo-gros-brtan-pas mdo-rgyan-gyi-’grel-chen las / sems-bskyed ces-bya skyabs-’gro zhes kyang bya // zhes gcig-tu-bzhed / rgya-gar jo-bos dam-bca’ba’i-lcags-kyu gnyis yod-med-du-bzhed / [165] kun-mkhyen-klong-chen-pas / rang-don dang gzhan-don gyi khyad yin gsungs-pa ’di’i dgongs-pa-la-brtags-na ngo-bo-gcig-la-ldog-pa-tha-dad-du-bzhed-pa yin te semscan thams-cad kyi don-du zhes-pa’i ldog-pa-nas sems-bskyed dang / bdag gi rdzogspa’i-sangs-rgyas zhes-pa’i ldog-pa-nas skyabs-’gro yin la / de-lta-bu’i khyad-par-dubyas-nas dbye-ba yin gsungs so // [166] gnyis-pa gzhung-don la spyir theg-pa che-chung gi skyabs-’gro’i-’khyad-par mang- du-yod-kyang ’dir khyad-par gsum dang-ldan-pa’i sgo-nas ’chad-pa la / khyad-par so-sor-bshad-pa dang / thun-mong-du ’gro-tshul-bshad-pa gnyis las / dang po la gnyis las / [167] dang-po theg-dman-gyi-skyabs-’gro-bshad-pa ni / bsam-pa rang-nyid srid-pa-’khor- ba’i-jigs-pa las grol te zhi-ba-myang-’das thob-pa’i ched-du dus ji-srid-’tsho-ba’i-bardu zhes ’dul-ba’i-gzhung nas gsungs-pa ltar ro // .

The explanation of the Hinayāna refuge [167] From these the first. “Since in this way the resultant refuge and the bodhicitta of aspiration have become identical. enlightenment. the resultant refuge is taught. “I will attain perfect enlightenment.” 23 Among the many distinctions that are made in regard to going for refuge.” If one analyzes this interpretation. Because one cannot liberate oneself from the fear of existence and peace through the causal refuge. and the explanation of the Mahāyāna refuge). and the explanation of the general way of how to go for refuge. The Indian Lord (Atiśa) stated. The first has two (parts. By differentiating in this way. “It depends whether there are two hooks of commitment or not. . it is not the ultimate refuge. here I will explain (going for refuge) by means of three distinctions. the explanation of the Hinayāna refuge: The motivation is as stated in the vinaya texts. what is then the difference (between the two)?” Ācārya Vasubandhu had four sons who were superior to himself. [164] Were one to ask. “The difference is between the benefit for oneself and the benefit for others. Of these the Acārya Sthiramati was more learned than he was in Abhidharma. the explanation of the Mahāyāna refuge.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 77 [163] In general. The aspect that says. In the four (chapters of the Uttara-tantra which concern) the elements. one can state that they are identical in essence but different in their aspects.” is the development of bodhicitta. and (2) explaining the general way of how to go (for refuge).” Thus he claimed they were the same. one should know that the meaning of the Uttara-tantra is nothing other than going for refuge. one can make these distinctions (development of bodhicitta and going for refuge). the aspect that says.23 (This explanation has) two (parts): (1) explaining the individual distinctions.” The meaning of the text [166] Second. qualities and activities. the explanation of the Hinayāna refuge.” [165] The Omniscient Longchenpa said. “In order to liberate myself from the fear of existence and to achieve peaceful nirvāṇa. “For the sake of all sentient beings. Khenpo Kunpal’s explanation discusses the meaning of stanza 26 by means of only three distinctions: the explanation of the Hinayāna refuge. regarding the meaning of the text (of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra): Although there are generally many distinctions between going for refuge in the Hinayāna and in the Mahāyāna.” is going for refuge. (Sthiramati wrote) in his great commentary on the Sūtrālaṃkāra: “What is called generating bodhicitta is also called going for refuge. (I go for refuge) for as long as I am alive.

78 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [168] skyabs-yul ni mdzod las / gang-zhig gsum la skyabs-’gro-ba // sangs-rgyas dge-’dun byed-pa’i chos // mi-slob-pa dang gnyis-ka dang // mya-ngan-’das la skyabs-su-’gro // zhes-pa ltar [169] sangs-rgyas-kyi-sku sdug-bsngal-bden-pa’i-lhag-ma ste / rgyal-po-zas-gtsang gi sras rgyal-bu-don-grub ces so-so’i-skye-bo zhig yin la / des lam-lnga stan-thog-gcig-tu bsgrod nas mngon-par-byang-chub-pa yin-pas sku-lus ni sngar rgyal-bu-don-grub lasdbang-gis-’phang-pa’i so-skyes kyi lus de yin-pas skyabs-yul ma-yin zhes bye-smras’dod-pa yin la / [170] skyabs-yul ni sangs-rgyas kyi thugs-rgyud kyi mi-slob-pa’i-lam-bden te rtogs-pa ni sangs-rgyas dang / dge-’dun gyi sku-lus ni sdug-bsngal-bden-pa’i-lhag-ma yin la slob-mi-slob-pa’i-rgyud-kyi-lam-bden te rtogs-pa ni dge-’dun yin la / sangs-rgyas dang dge-’dun gyi thugs-rgyud na sgrib-pa-spang-bas-spang-ba’am myang-’das sam / ’dod-chags-bral-ba ’gog-bden chos dang / de-lta-bu’i dkon-mchog-gsum thegdman-gyi-skyabs-yul yin no // inserted root text: stanza 26 byang-chub-snying-por mchis-kyi-bar / sangs-rgyas rnams la skyabs-su-mchi / chos dang byang-chub-sems-dpa' yi / tshogs la’ang de-bzhin skyabs-su-mchi / [171] gnyis-pa theg-chen-gyi-skyabs-’gro ni / bsam-pa nam-mkha’-dang-mnyam-pa’i-sems- can thams-cad rdzogs-pa’i-sangs-rgyas-kyi-go-’phang thob-pa’i ched-du dus-’di-nasbzung-ste byang-chub-snying-por te snying-po-la-mchis-kyi-bar-du sangs-rgyas sku-bzhi-ye-shes-lnga’i-bdag-nyid-can rnams la skyabs-su-mchi’o // lung-dangrtogs-pa’i-bdag-nyid dam-pa’i-chos rnams dang byang-chub-sems-dpa’ yi ’phagspa’i-dge-’dun gyi tshogs la’ang snga-ma de-bzhin-du skyabs-su-mchi zhes-pa ste / .

Likewise. since all obscurations have been overcome. the Mahāyāna refuge: The motivation is.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 79 [168] The refuge object is described in the Abhidharma-koṣa:24 Whoever goes for refuge to the three (jewels) Goes for refuge to the dharma of no-more-learning. driven by the karmic force of the former Prince Siddhārtha. his body was the body of an ordinary human being. which brings forth the Buddha. (it is) ‘nirvāṇa’. I go for refuge to the buddhas. The saṃgha is the truth of the paths of learning and no-more-learning in the minds (of the saṃgha members). [169] Buddha’s body is considered a residue of the truth of suffering. Therefore. (to the truth of cessation alone). He traversed the five paths on one seat and attained complete enlightenment. Such three jewels are the refuge objects in the Hinayāna (tradition). and to the gathering of the noble saṃgha of bodhisattvas. and (it is) the ‘truth of cessation’. [171] Second. The explanation of the Mahāyāna refuge inserted root text: stanza 26 I go for refuge to the buddhas Until I attain the essence of awakening. just as before. (all) of which are in the minds of the Buddha and the saṃgha. on the level of complete enlightenment. The dharma is the ‘overcoming’. free from craving. And (thus) to nirvāṇa. the realization (of the truth of the path). equal to the reaches of space. [170] As far as the refuge object is concerned: The Buddha is the truth of the path of no- more-learning in the mind of the Buddha. As the son of King Śuddhodana he was an ordinary person with the name Prince Siddhārtha. I go for refuge to the sublime dharma. For that reason (his body) is not the object of refuge. that is to say the realization (of the truth of the path). the embodiment of the three or four kayas. the embodiment of the statements and realizations. which brings forth the saṃgha. that is to say.” 24 page 35 / commentary pages 327-328 . “In order to establish all beings. and To the dharma of both learning and (no-more-learning). Thus the Vaibāṣikas state. since the bodies of saṃgha (members) are the residue of the truth of suffering. Likewise. I go for refuge to the dharma And to the gathering of bodhisattvas. from now until I attain the essence of awakening.

80 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [172] de-yang dus-kyi-khyad-par bzang-spyod las / byang-chub-shing-dbang drung-du de myur ’gro // song nas sems-can phan phyir der ’dug ste // byang-chub sangs-rgyas ’khor-lo-rab-tu-bskor // ces-pa-ltar [173] bskal-bzang-’di’i-sangs-rgyas yin na rgya-gar-rdo-rje’i gdan du byang-chub-kyi-shing drung dang / rgyal-ba-’od-dpag-med lta-bu byang-chub-kyi-shing rin-chen-padmornam-par-snang-byed ces-pa la-sogs-pa mdor-na dus-gsum-gyi-rgyal-ba thams-cad gang-du byang-chub-kyi-shing drung-du sangs-rgyas-pa ltar sems-can gyi don-du phyi byang-chub-snying-po’i-shing drung-du mngon-par-rdzogs-pa-byang-ma-chubkyi-bar-du dang / nang rig-pa bde-gshegs-snying-po’i-gnas-lugs ma-lus-pa mngondu-ma-gyur-bar-du ste / [174] bde-gshegs-snying-po’i-gnas-lugs ji-lta-ba-bzhin mngon-du-gyur-pa sangs-rgyas ma- gtogs gzhan ’phags-chen rnams kyis kyang sangs-rgyas kyis gzigs-pa ltar mi mthong ste / mgon-po-byams-pas / btsas-pa’i khyim-nas bu-chung gis // nyi-ma’i-gzugs bzhin ’phags-pas kyang // zhes gsungs-pa ltar ro / [175] yul-gyi-khyad-par theg-chen thun-mong-ma-yin-pa’i dkon-mchog-gsum ste / sangs- rgyas ni / de-nyid kyis / ’dus-ma-byas shing lhun-gyis-grub // gzhan-gyi-rkyen gyis rtogs min-pa // mkhyen dang brtse dang nus-par-ldan // don-gnyis-ldan-pas sangs-rgyas-nyid // ces gsungs-pa ltar / [176] rgyu-rkyen gyis ‘dus-ma-byas-pa dang / yon-tan lhun-gyis-grub-pa dang / gzhan- gyi-rkyen gyis rtogs-pa min-par so-sor-rang-rig-pa’i-ye-shes kyis mngon-sum-du rtogs-pa gsum rang-don-phun-tshogs-kyi-yon-tan dang / ji-lta-ba dang ji-snyed-pa gzigs-pas shes-bya thams-cad mkhyen nas dmigs-pa-med-pa’i brtse-ba’i-snying-rje chen-pos lam-ston cing sdug-bsngal dang nyon-mongs thams-cad spong-bar nus-pa gsum gzhan-don-phun-tshogs-kyi-yon-tan te / .

the natural state of the buddha nature. Awaken into enlightenment. In regard to the Buddha. As (Buddha) sees (the buddha nature) as it is. who attained enlightenment in front of the Bodhi Tree called ‘Illuminating Jewel Lotus’. It is (3) not realized through external conditions but is only realized in actuality through one’s own individual awareness wisdom. [176] (Buddha nature)25 is (1) not compounded by causes and conditions. just like the buddhas of this fortunate aeon. . Endowed with (4) knowledge. as well as all there is. turn the wheel (of dharma). who attained enlightenment in front of whichever bodhi tree for the sake of all sentient beings. just like all the victors of the three times. as it actually is. and he has (6) the power to overcome all suffering and afflictions. who attained enlightenment in front of the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgayā. they will sit there to benefit beings. (Maitreyanātha) said (in the Uttara-tantra): (1) Uncompounded. its qualities are (2) spontaneously present. [174] The realization of the natural state of the enlightened essence. As Maitreyanātha said (in the Uttara-tantra): Even the noble ones (cannot see the buddha nature). 25 Please note that in this context. They cannot see it as the Buddha does. (5) non-conceptual love. (3) Not realized through external conditions. endowed with the hallmark of twofold benefit. [173] Thus. These (last) three are the perfect qualities for the benefit of others. or like the Victor Amitābha. And subdue all māras and their hordes. (2) spontaneously present. and internally until the complete attainment of awareness. With great compassionate. [175] The distinction of the object concerns the extraordinary three jewels of Mahāyāna. ‘Buddha’ and ‘buddha nature’ are identical. is obvious only to the Buddha but not to the other great noble beings. Just as an infant cannot look at the shape of the sun from the house where it has just been born. externally (I go for refuge) until the attainment of perfect enlightenment in front of the ‘Essence-of-Awakening Tree’. (5) love. These three are the perfect qualities for one’s own benefit. he has (4) the knowledge of all that can be known. in short.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 81 [172] The distinction concerning time is shown in the Bhadra-caryā-praṇidhāna: They will soon go before the Bodhi Tree And having gone there. he shows the path. and (6) power— Such is the Buddha.

82 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [177] de-lta-bu’i don-gnyis mthar-phyin-pa’i-yon-tan dbye-gzhi-dbye-ba’i-ya-gyal-du-byas- pas yon-tan-brgyad-ldan-gyi-sangs-rgyas sku-bzhi’am sku-gsum mo // [178] chos ni / de-nyid kyis / bsam-med gnyis-med rtog-med-pa // dag gsal gnyen-po’i-phyogs nyid kyis // gang-zhig gang-gis chags-bral-ba // bden-gnyis mtshan-nyid-can de chos // zhes-pas [179] rnam-rtog gis bsam-gyis-mi-khyab cing las dang nyon-mongs-pa dang / rnam-par- rtog-pa zhi-ba mthar-thug-pa gsum gang-zhig ’dod-chags-dang-bral-ba ’gog-bdengyi-yon-tan dang / dri-mas-dag cing ye-shes-kyi-snang-ba gsal-ba-can kun-nas-nyonmongs-pa’i gnyen-por-gyur-pa mthar-thug-pa gsum gang-gis ’dod-chags-dang-bralba lam-bden-gyi-yon-tan te / de-lta-bu’i bden-pa-gnyis kyi mtshan-nyid-can yon-tanbrgyad-ldan-rtogs-pa’i-chos so // [180] ’di la legs-par-brtags na ’gog-bden ni spang-ba’i-cha’am med-pa yin-pas na rtogs-pa ma yin-pas rtogs-pa’i-chos ji-ltar yin bsam na / lam-bden gyis bzhag-pa’am lam-bden rtogs-pa’i lag-rjes yin-pas sam lam-bden gyis chags-pa-dang-bral-ba’i dbyings gangzhig ye-shes dang gnyis-su-med-pa’i stong-pa’am dbyings la ’gog-pa zhes btags-pa yin-pas rtogs-pa’i-chos su bsdu-ba yin la ’di ni gnad-don gal-che-ba yin no // [181] de-ltar bden-pa gnyis kyi mtshan-nyid-can rtogs-pa’i-chos kyi rgyu-mthun-pa’i theg- pa-chen-po’i-sde-snod kyi chos lung dang / [182] dge-’dun ni theg-chen ’phags-pa phyir-mi-ldog-pa ste / byams-pas / ji-ltar ji-snyed nang gi ni // ye-shes-gzigs-pa dag-pas na // blo-ldan phyir mi-ldog-pa’i-tshogs // bla-med-yon-tan dang ldan nyid // ces-pas .

it would not be realization. endowed with the hallmark of the two truths. How then could it be (classified as) the dharma of realization? (Cessation) is the outcome of the truth of the path or is the result of having realizing the truth of the path. That expanse or emptiness. (The dharma) is (4) pure without any stains.5. inseparable from wisdom. [182] In regard to the saṃgha dharma. Thus the dharma of realization is endowed with eight qualities and possesses the hallmark of the two truths. (5) luminous and (6) having remedial power— That which is and that which frees one from craving Is the dharma. [181] The dharma of the statements of the (three) Mahāyāna baskets accord with the dharma of realization. (Maitreyanātha) said (in the Uttara-tantra): (1) As it is. When (obscurations) are purified (4. and (6) it has the remedial power for all afflictions. the noble beings of Mahāyāna. [179] (The dharma) (1) cannot be conceived by thoughts. which free one from craving. (Maitreyanātha) said (in the Uttara-tantra): (1) Inconceivable. 27 The truth of cessation and the truth of the path.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 83 [177] Thus. and (3) the inner— These are wisdom perceptions. possessing the hallmark of the two truths. (cessation) is classified under the ‘dharma of realization’. and (3) it pacifies concepts. Therefore. through the truth of the path (one attains) the expanse free from craving. its wisdom perception is (5) luminous. which is free from craving. These three ultimate points are the qualities of the truth of cessation.27 [180] If one analyzes this carefully. . The wise belong to the gathering of non-returners And are thus endowed with unexcelled qualities. (3) non-conceptual. the non-returners. (4) Pure. This is a very important point. one arrives at the four or three kāyas of the Buddha endowed with eight qualities. (into three). are the qualities of the truth of the path.6). These (latter) three ultimate points. amounts to a total of eight qualities. is called ‘cessation’.26 [178] In regard to the dharma. by subdividing (each of) the ultimate qualities of the two benefits. the basis for making these distinctions. one might think that since the truth of cessation is either ‘overcoming’ or ‘absence’. (2) it is without (the two). For this reason. karma and afflictions. (2) without two. 26 The two major divisions of one’s own benefit [rang don] and benefit of others [gzhan don] plus the three qualities of each of these two divisions. (2) all there is.

84 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [183] gnas-lugs bde-gshegs-snying-po mngon-sum-rtogs-pa ji-lta-mkhyen-pa’i-ye-shes dang / des sems-can thams-cad la khyab-par gzigs-pa ji-snyed-mkhyen-pa’i-ye-shes dang / gnyis-su-med-par nang so-so-rang-rig-pa’i-ye-shes gsum rig-pa’i-yon-tan dang / [184] ye-shes de-nyid nyon-shes-snyoms-’jug-gi-sgrib-pa-gsum mam / nyon-mongs-pa las grol-ba chags-sgrib las grol-ba dang / shes-sgrib las grol-ba thogs-sgrib las grol-ba dang / rang-’dod-yid-byed-kyi-zhen-pa dang bral-ba dman-sgrib las grol-ba gsum ni grol-ba’i-yon-tan gsum dang drug gam dbye-gzhi-dbye-ba’i-ya-gyal-du-byas-pas brgyad do // [185] gnyis-pa skyabs-su-’gro-tshul ni / ston-pa bla-med sangs-rgyas // skyobs-pa bla-med dam-chos // ’dren-pa bla-med dge-’dun ces-pa ltar / [186] las-dang-po-pa rnams kyi skyabs-dngos chos yin te / ngas ni khyod la thar-pa’i-thabs bstan-pas // thar-pa rang la rag-las brtson-par-gyis // [187] zhes dang / thub rnams sdig-pa chu yis mi ’khrud la // ’gro-ba’i sdug-bsngal phyag gis mi sel zhing // nyid kyis rtogs-pa gzhan la spo min yang // chos-nyid zhi-ba bstan las grol-bar ’gyur // ces gsungs-pas [188] dam-pa’i-chos rang gis bsgrub na ’khor-ba dang ngan-song gi sdug-bsngal las rang- nyid skyobs-par-’gyur te tha-na nyin-zhag phrug-gcig la bsnyen-gnas-gyi-sdom-pa bsrung-ba’i gang-zag des nyin der rang-rgyud nyes-ltung las skyabs nas phyi-ma lhayul du skye-bar-’gyur-ba dang / de-ltar-na las-dang-po-pa’i skyabs-dngos dam-pa’ichos yin-pas de-ma-gtogs-par skyabs-gnas gzhan gnyis kyis kyang dngos-su skyobsmi-nus-pas skyobs-pa-bla-med dam-pa’i-chos zhes gsungs-pas na / .

The incomparable protection. (the scriptures. Be diligent as liberation depends upon yourself. Explaining the general way of going for refuge [185] Second. To be liberated from conceptual. [184] Such wisdom is liberated from the obscuration of afflictions. To be liberated from the obscuration of cognition means to be liberated from the obscuration of cognitive limits.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 85 [183] The direct realization of the natural state. [188] Thus. [187] And further: Even though I am the Muni. I can neither wash away negative deeds Nor wipe away the suffering of beings with my hand. The incomparable guide. the dharma. a person who keeps the (eight) precepts observed for one day is protected for that day from mistakes in his mind and will later be reborn in the realm of the gods. [186] The dharma is the real refuge for beginners. by way of description) say. And the non-duality (of both former wisdoms) is one’s individual and distinct (3) inner awareness wisdom. one arrives at eight. (the buddha nature). the sublime dharma…” . the sublime dharma is the real refuge for the beginner. “The unexcelled protection. By subdividing the basis for making these distinctions. the way of going for refuge: As it is said: The incomparable teacher. As it is said: I have shown you the methods that lead to liberation. the obscuration of cognition and the obscuration of absorptions. is the wisdom that knows (buddha nature) (1) as it is. the Buddha. Through my teachings on the peace of the natural state I can lead them to liberation. At the very least. if one practices the sublime dharma. the saṃgha. These are the three qualities of liberation. Therefore. one protects oneself from the suffering of saṃsāra and the lower realms. These three kinds of wisdom are the qualities of knowledge. Although I cannot transfer my realization to others. egoistic attachment means to be liberated from the obscuration of inferior motivation. the buddha nature. To be liberated from afflictions means to be liberated from the obscuration of attachment. Because (at this point) the other two refuge objects do not have the power to really protect him. Together (with the three qualities of knowledge) they are six. The wisdom that knows (2) all there is perceives that all sentient beings are pervaded by this.

86 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [189] gsang-sngags-rnying-ma-bas / skyabs-yul du bde-gsal-mi-rtog-pa-gsum dang / rtsa- rlung-thig-le-gsum dang / ngo-bo-rang-bzhin-thugs-rje-gsum sogs gsungs-pa ni / rang-lus kyi rtsa-thig-rlung-gsum dag-par-byed bsam nas dam-bcas-pa / de-ltar sgrub-pas rtsa-dag-pa sprul-sku sogs rang-gzhung nas bshad-pa’i ’bras-bu-’grub-par’gyur la / [190] gzhan-du skyabs-’gro dang gsol-’debs kyi khyad ma shes-par rtsa-thig-rlung-gsum rang-lus na gnas-pas de la bdag sogs skyabs-par-mdzad-du-gsol zhes re-ba-bca’-samed-pas mdor-na gsol-’debs dang skyabs-’gro’i khyad-par las-dang-po-pa’i skyabsgnas-dngos chos yin-pa dang / chos de-yang rang-rgyud du bsgrub-par-byed dgos-pa ni / gnad-dam-pa yin-pas shes-pa gal-che-ba yin no // [191] de-ltar skyabs-’gro’i-ngo-bo rang-gi-sems la dam-bca’-ba dang mchog-gsum las dam- pa’i-chos las-dang-po-pa’i skyabs-dngos yin-pa dang / de’ang rang gis sgrub-par dam-bca’-ba’i gnad de ma-gtogs-par gsang-sngags-rnying-ma-pa’i skyabs-yul gongdu-bshad-pa de-dag la dgag-pa brjod-pa ni / rang-nyid kyis skyabs-’gro dang gsol’debs kyi khyad-par ma-shes-par-zad-do // [192] de-ltar brjod-pa na rnying-ma-pa kha-gcig ’gal-spang gi lan-kyang-brjod-mi-shes-par khong-khro-ba dang / rang-gi-chos la the-tshom-skyes nas spong-ba sogs yod-pa ni gong-du-bstan-pa’i gnad de ma-gtogs-pas lan-pa yin no // [193] ’o-na chos skyabs-dngos yin na sangs-rgyas dang dge-’dun gnyis skyabs-su-brjod-pa ci-yin zhe-na / sangs-rgyas ma byon na rang-re rmongs-pas chos zhes-bya-ba mi shespas sangs-rgyas-nyid kyis rang gang las gshegs-pa’i lam de ma-nor-ba’gro-ba rnams la yang-dag-par bstan-pas sangs-rgyas kyang skyabs yin no // dge-’dun ni rang-re snyigs-ma’i-sems-can ston-pa’i zhal-ras mjal-ba’i skal-ba-med-pa rnams yang-dag-pas thar-pa’i-lam-du-’dren-par-byed-pas na skyabs yin no // [194] de-lta-bu’i dkon-mchog-gsum la ston-pa lam-grogs-kyi-tshul du skyabs-su-’gro dgos te / ji-ltar na / bdag-gi-ston-pa sangs-rgyas yin-pas des ji-skad gsungs-pa bzhin sgrubpa ma-gtogs phyi-rol-mu-stegs-pa’i-ston-pa rnams dang / rang-re’i pha-ma nye-’brel la-sogs-pa’i chos-min-kyi-ngag la mi nyan bsam nas dam-bca’-ba dang / bdag-gi-lam chos yin-pas rgyal-ba’i-bka’ bzhin-du dam-pa’i-chos sgrub-pa ma-gtogs / ’jig-rtenpa’i-bya-ba ngan-pa tshong dang so-nams dgra-’dul gnyen-skyongs la-sogs-pa mi byed bsam-pas dam-bca’-ba dang / .

being ignorant about the difference between refuge and supplication. “I request you to protect me. friends or others. They are foolish because they have not realized the point just explained above. Besides these points. If one practices in this way. Therefore. [191] Thus. [194] How should one go for refuge to the three jewels as the teacher. prana and bindus. [192] When such (criticism) is expressed. it is of great importance to understand it. Therefore. from my own parents. but tīrtika rather refers to someone who sets out on a path different from the Buddhist one. clarity and non-thought. why are the Buddha and the saṃgha also taught as places of refuge? Had the Buddha not appeared. fighting enemies. prana and bindus are in one’s own body. But the dharma must be practiced in one’s mind. For the beginner the sublime dharma is the real refuge among the three supreme (objects). such as the nirmāṇakāya as the purified (aspect of the) nadis. the object of refuge for the beginner is really the dharma. as explained in the texts of our school. not knowing how to refute these accusations. in order to distinguish supplication from refuge. they too are a refuge. nadis. [193] Now. I commit that I will practice only what he has taught and will no longer listen to non-dharma talks from tīrtika28 teachers. due to our own ignorance we would never have known what is called ‘the dharma’. bliss. essence.” “As the dharma is my path. become angry. if the dharma is the real refuge.” thus putting one’s expectation in the wrong place. sentient beings (endowed with the five) degenerations—we who lacked the fortune to meet the teacher face to face—on the path of liberation. and will no longer engage in negative worldly activities such as business. The saṃgha are those who perfectly guide us.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 87 [189] In the Secret Mantra (teachings) of the Old School. I commit that I will only practice the sublime dharma. farming. since the nadis. according to the teachings of the victors. One is committed (to practice) with the determination to purify the nadis. develop doubts about their own practice. The Buddha perfectly taught to sentient beings the unfailing path that he himself had traversed. the essence of refuge is to commit in one’s own mind. one will accomplish results. there are those who voice their criticisms about the above-explained refuge objects of the Old School of Secret Mantra because they do not know the difference between refuge and supplication. prana and bindus of one’s own body. In short.” 28 The Sanskrit tīrtika is often translated as ‘heretic’. maintaining friends and so forth. one could pray. the path and the guides? “As the Buddha is my teacher. [190] Furthermore. Because this is a sublime point. or even give up their practice and so forth. One is committed to practice by oneself. some (practitioners) of the Old School. nature and responsiveness and the like are taught as the refuge objects. . the Buddha is also a refuge.

yeng-pas skya-ser su-yin-kyang de-dag dang kha-blo-spyod-gsum la-sogs-pa gcig-tu-mi-byed / [196] der-ma-zad nyan-rang yang bdag gi grogs min la / bdag gis ni rgyas-sras-byang-sems ’phags-pa rnams kyi rnam-thar gyi rjes-su-ji-lta-ba-bzhin-du-bslab la / de-dag ni bdag gi grogs yin no // gzhan chos-lam las bdag bsgyur-’gro-ba thams-cad dang mi-’grogs so snyam nas dam-bca’-ba yin no // des-na ston-pa lam-grogs-kyi-tshul-du skyabssu-’gro-ba ni gnad-dam-pa yin no // [197] de-ltar skyabs-su-’gro shes-pa tsam-gyis mi ’ong-bar rang-nyid-kyis slob-dpon gyi mdun nas skyabs-’gro’i-sdom-pa yang-dag-par-blangs dgos / blangs nas kyang bslabbya rnams bsrung dgos pas de la thun-min-gyi dang / thun-mong-gi-bslab-bya gnyis // dang-po la // dgag-pa’i-dang / bsgrub-pa’i-dang / cha-mthun-gyi-bslab-bya gsum las // [198] dang-po ni / sangs-rgyas la skyabs-su-song-nas ’khor-bar-’khor-ba’i-lha la gtan-gyi- skyabs-su-bzungs nas phyag-mchod-mi-bya // chos la skyabs-su-song-nas sems-can la gnod-’tshe mtshan rmi-lam-du-yang-mi-bya-bar ci-nus-su ’bad-pas bsrung / dge’dun la skyabs-su-song-nas mu-stegs-can-dngos dang rang-gi-bla-ma dang chos la mi dad cing skur-pa-’debs-pa dang mi ’grogs / [199] gnyis-pa ni / pad-dkar las / sku-gzugs rnam-pa mang-por de sprul nas // ’gro-ba dge-la-sbyor-ba’i don-mdzad do // zhes gsungs-pa ltar / [200] sangs-rgyas-kyi-sku-rten dang / thugs-rten sā-tstsha’i-chags-dum-tsam la yang sangs- rgyas-dkon-mchog gi ’du-shes-bzhag ste ma-gus-pa-spangs / gus-pas-mchod / spyibos-bteg / gtsang-sar-’jog / [201] chos la skyabs-su-song-nas chos-yi-ge ’bru-gcig yan-chad-la chos-dkon-mchog gi ’du- shes-bzhag ste ma-gus-pa-spang zhing gsung-rab-yi-ge sa-rjen-du-’jog-pa dang / ’gom-yug dang / gzhan yang yig-sdeb bsgyur-ba’i tshe mdzub-mo-mchil-mas-bsgospa dang / so-dreg sogs kyis mi-gtsang-ba-spang-nas gus-par-byed dgos te / .88 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [195] dge-’dun la grogs-kyi-tshul-du skyabs-su-’gro ste // bdag-gi-grogs ni ’phags-pa’i-dge- ’dun yin te dper-na lha-sa lta-bur ’gro na sgar-dpon des ji-ltar byed-pa de-ltar byed de ’gro na grogs yin-gyi gzhan-du der mi ’gro-ba dang ’gro yang de-tsam mi ’gro-ba thams-cad grogs min-pa ltar / ’jig-rten-pa’i-bya-ba ngan-pa chos-brgyad la g.

” In this way one goes for refuge (to the three jewels) as the teacher. (3) Having gone for refuge to the saṃgha. (the three precepts concerning obligations): As it is said in the Puṇḍarīka-sūtra: Emanating a multitude of various forms. and supplementary precepts. I will refrain from harming and injuring beings. I will not associate myself with people who lead me away from the path of the dharma. if one travels to Lhasa. “ [201] (2) “Having gone for refuge to the dharma I will consider even a single letter of the teachings as if it were the jewel of the dharma and refrain from being disrespectful. I will consider the representations of Buddha’s body (such as statues) as well as the representations of his mind (such as stūpas). who distracts you into negative worldly actions of the eight worldly concerns. Furthermore. precepts concerning obligations.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 89 [195] Going for refuge in the manner of taking the saṃgha as the guide means that one’s friends are the noble saṃgha.” [199] Second. (I will refrain from) wetting my fingers with saliva when turning the pages of a book and staining them with teeth plaque [so dreg] and the like. do not imitate [gcig tu mi byed] anyone. They benefit beings by inspiring them to virtue. I will respectfully present offerings (to them). I will refrain from being disrespectful. (2) Having gone for refuge to the dharma. I will treat them with respect. This is a very sublime point. even a mere fragment of a terracotta image. [198] First. not even in dreams. [196] Even the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are not one’s (ultimate) guides. the path and the guide. are not one’s guides. One needs to receive the refuge precepts from a master in the right way. ordained or lay. thinking and behavior. For instance. [200] (1) “(Having gone for refuge to the Buddha). one must observe the precepts. I will strive to protect them as much as I can.” . Having received them. the bodhisattvas. which are twofold: the special [thun min] and the general [thun mong] precepts. Commit yourself by thinking. one follows exactly what the tour leader [sgar dpon] does. as if it were the jewel of the Buddha. because he is one’s guide [grogs]. “I will follow exactly the life (style) of the sons of the Victor. I will not consider saṃsāric deities as my permanent refuge and will not present prostrations or offerings to them. The first has three: precepts concerning prohibitions. in conversation. All others who do not go there (to Lhasa) or only go part of the way. I will not associate myself with real tīrtikas or those who have no faith in my teacher or the dharma and who slander them. (the three precepts concerning prohibitions): (1) “Having gone for refuge to the Buddha. refraining from placing the scriptures on the bare floor and from stepping over them ['gom yug]. [197] It is not enough to just know how to go for refuge. place them on my head and leave them in a clean place. They are my (ultimate) guides. Likewise.

90 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [202] snyan-gyi-gong-rgyan du // lnga-brgya-tha-mar-gyur-pa-na // nga-nyid yi-ge’i-gzugs-su-gnas // nga yin snyam du yid-byos la // de-tshe de la gus-par-gyis // zhes dang / gaṇḍi’i-mdo las / yum-chen-mo ni gaṇḍi’i-gzugs kyis bzhugs so // zhes gsungs so // [203] dge’-dun la yang rab-byung-gi-rtags ska-rags-ser-po-bcing-ba yan-chad dang / tha-na lhan-pa-dmar-ser tsam la yang dge-’dun-dkon-mchog gi ’du-shes-bzhag ste gus-parbyed dgos so // de-skad-du / ma-’ongs thub-pa’i-bstan-pa nub-pa’i tshe // dmar dang ser-po’i gos-kyi-ras-ma kun // lha rnams kyis bsdus dad-pa’i-rten du khyer // ri-rab rtse ru mchod-rten-byed-par gsungs // zhes gsungs-pas so // [204] gsum-pa ni / rang la blang-dor-gyi-gnas ston-pa’i bla-ma dge-ba’i-bshes-gnyen la sangs-rgyas-dkon-mchog dngos kyi ’du-shes-bzhag ste / zhabs-tog bsnyen-bkur la ’bad / de’i bka’-stsal-ba’i gsung rnams la chos-dkon-mchog gi ’du-shes-bzhag ste / ci gsung dang-du-len zhing gsung gi zur-tsam-yang mi bcag / bla-ma’i-’khor grva-slob rnams la dge-’dun-dngos kyi ’du-shes-bzhag ste sgo-gsum gus-pas bsten mi-mnyespa skad-cig-tsam-yang mi bya ste / [205] rnga-bo-che’i-mdor / mya-ngan-ma-byed kun-dga-’ bo // smre-sngags-ma-’don kun-dga-’ bo // nga-nyid phyi-ma’i-dus kyi tshe // dge-ba’i-bshes-gnyen nyid sprul nas // khyed la-sogs-pa’i don-byed-’gyur // zhes gsungs-pa ltar ro // .

All small pieces of red or yellow cloth Will be collected by the gods and taken away as objects of faith And will be placed in a stūpa on the peak of Mount Sumeru. [204] Third.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 91 [202] As it is said in the Avataṃsaka-sūtra:29 In the last five-hundred-year cycle I will be present in the form of scriptures. In future times I will Incarnate as spiritual guides To help you and others. Ānanda. I will respect any symbol of the ordained—be it only a yellow belt or no more than a patch of red or yellow (monk’s robes)—as if it were the jewel of the saṃgha. (3) I will consider the monks and students in the entourage of the guru as the actual saṃgha and will treat them with respect. I will not displease them even for one instant. 29 snyan gyi gong rgyan another name for the Avataṃsaka-sūtra [phal po che]. Do not lament.” As it is said: In the future. In the Gaṇḍī-sūtra is said: The Great Mother is present in the form of the gaṇḍī. (2) I will consider all he says as the jewel of the dharma. . and will not disobey his word in the slightest. when the teaching of the Buddha will decline. I will strive to serve him and honor him.” [205] As it is said in the Mahā-bherī-sūtra: Do not feel sad. (the supplementary precepts): (1) “I will consider my guru and spiritual teacher. the one who teaches what to accept and what to reject. accept whatever he says. Consider them as identical to me And show them due respect. Ānanda. [203] (3) “(Having gone for refuge) to the saṃgha. as the actual jewel of the Buddha.

92 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [206] gnyis-pa thun-mong ni / mnga’-ris-paṇ-chen gyis / srog dang bya-dkar dkon-mchog-gsum mi spang / dgos-gal che yang thabs gzhan mi ’tshol zhing // dus-mchod-mi-bcag rang-gzhan skyabs-’gror-’god // gar-’gro’i-phyogs-kyi-sangs-rgyas la phyag-’tshal // lnga rnams thun-mong-bslab-byar jo-bo bzhed // ces gsungs-pa ltar // blang-dor tshul-bzhin-du bya-ba rnams so // [207] de-ltar skabs-su song-ba’i phan-yon ni / thar-pa’i-sa-bon-theb-pa dang / nang-pa’i gral-du-tshud-pa dang / ’jigs-pa las skyob cing byang-chub thob-par-’gyur-ba la-sogspa ste / [208] nyi-ma’i-snying-po’i-mdo las / sangs-rgyas skyabs-su sems-can su ’gro-ba // bdud rnams bye-bas bsad-par mi nus te // tshul-khrims nyams shing blo ni ’khrugs-gyur kyang // de ni nges-par skye-ba’i pha-rol ’gro // zhes dang / [209] dri-ma-med-pa’i-mdo las / skyabs-su-song-ba’i bsod-nams gang // gal-te de la gzugs mchis na // nam-mkha’i-khams ni kun bkang nas // de ni de-bas lhag-par-’gyur // zhes gsungs-pa ltar mtha-’ yas so / [210] bzhi-pa sdig-pa-bshags-pa’i-yan-lag la / bshags-yul mngon-du-bya-ba dang / bshags- pa-dngos gnyis las / .

(3) I will not fail to make offerings at the correct times and (4) (I will) establish myself and others in refuge. Lord (Atiśa) thus stated these five to be the special precepts. (one) will (eventually) reach enlightenment. I will prostrate to the Buddha of that direction. and so on. These are the activities that accord with what should be accepted and rejected. Even if his discipline has deteriorated and his mind is upset. . He will certainly have a transcendental rebirth. (2) However pressing the need. There are infinte quotes like this. one enters the ranks of the Buddhists. one will be protected from fear. Ngari Panchen said: (1) Never forsake the three jewels. [208] From the Sūrya-garbha-sūtra: If someone goes for refuge to the Buddha. [209] From the Vimaladatta-paripṛcchā-sūtra: If all the merit of taking refuge Had a physical form. He cannot be killed by billions of māras. The whole of space Would not be large enough to contain it. (5) Wherever I go. The Section on Confessing Negative Deeds [210] Fourth. not for gifts and not at the cost of your life. regarding the general precepts. the section on confessing negative deeds has two parts: the visualization of the objects for confession and the actual confession.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 93 [206] Second. [207] The benefit of having gone for refuge in this way: The seed of liberation is planted. I will not seek any other means.

94 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted roo text: stanza 27 phyogs rnams kun na bzhugs-pa yi / rdzogs-sangs-rgyas dang byang-chub-sems / thugs-rje-chen-po-mnga’-rnams la / thal-mo-sbyar-te gsol-ba ni / [211] dang-po ni / bshags-yul phyogs-bcu’i-jig rten rnams te mtha’-yas-pa kun-na-bzhugs- pa yi yang-dang-par-rdzogs-pa’i-sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-‘das rnams dang byangchub-sems-dpa’-chen-po thugs snying-rje-chen-po mnga’-ba rnams mdun-gyi-nammkhar dmigs la lus kyis thal-mo-sbyar-te ngag gis gsol-ba ste zhu-ba-‘bul-ba ni ‘diltar zhes so // tu-spyod-pa’i-stobs / sor-chud-pa’i-stobs dang bzhi las / inserted root text: stanza 28 [212] gnyis-pa bshags-pa-dngos la / sun-’byin-pa’i-stobs / rten-gyi-stobs / gnyen-po-kun- thog ma med ldan 'khor ba nas / tshe rabs 'di'am gzhan dag tu / bdag gis ma 'tshal sdig bgyis pa'am / bgyid du stsal ba nyid dang ni / [213] dang-po ni / ci zhu na dus thog-ma-med-pa dang ldan-pa’i ’khor-ba nas bzung ste da-lta’i tshe-rabs ’di’am tshe-rabs snga-ma gzhan-dag tu bdag gis blang-dor-gyi-gnas ma ’tshal zhes ma-rig-pa nyon-mongs-pa’i dbang gis sdig-pa mi-dge-ba rang-bzhindang-bcas-pa’i-kha-na-ma-tho-ba sbyor-ba rang gis dngos-su-bgyis-pa’am gzhan-dag la bgyid-du-stsal-ba nyid dang ni / .

the bhagavāns. who are endowed with great compassion and are residing in all infinite world systems of the ten directions. [213] First: What should you request? “Throughout beginningless saṃsāra. Endowed with great compassion. I visualize in the sky before me the objects for confession. but in this context means ‘conduct’. I beseech you thus: [211] First. Joining my palms. Physically joining my palms. (3) the power of the applied antidote. non-virtuous actions. the actual confession has four parts: (1) the power of remorse. Incited (others) to commit them and. and misdeeds of violating natural and established rules. I have ignorantly. incited others to commit them and. … 30 sbyor ba is usually translated as ‘application’. and (4) the power of resolve. and the great bodhisattvas.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 95 The visualization of the objects for confession inserted root text : stanza 27 Perfect buddhas and bodhisattvas. I beseech them with my voice. The power of remorse inserted root text: stanza 28 Throughout beginningless saṃsāra In this lifetime and in others. Residing in all directions. . (2) the power of the support. Ignorantly I committed negative deeds. in this present lifetime and in all other previous lifetimes. the utterly perfect buddhas. thus presenting my request and saying the following: The actual confession [212] Second. in (my) conduct30 actually committed myself negative deeds. meaning through the power of the affliction of ignorance about the points of what to do and what to avoid.

yo-sgyus ma-byin-par-blang-ba la-sogspa ni / ma-pham-pas / gang-zhig yid ni chos la sdang-ba de la thar-pa ga-la yod // ces dang / [216] de-las-kyang dkon-mchog la gnod-pa’i-las dang dkor-’phrog-pa nyes-pa che ste .96 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 29 gti-mug 'khrul-pas bdag non te / rjes-su-yi-rang gang bgyis-pa / nongs-pa de ni mthong-bgyis nas bsam-pa-thag-pas mgon la bshags / [214] rgyu-’bras blang-dor la rmongs-pa’i gti-mug gis ’khrul-par-gyur-pas bdag zil-gyis- non te / gzhan sdig-pa-byed-pa la rjes-su-yi-rang-ba ste dga’-ba gang bgyis-pa’i sdigpa de gsum la che-chung-med-pas gang-dang-gang-byas-pa’i nyes-pa’am nongs-pa de ni mthong zhes nyes-pa la nyes-par-mthong-bar-bgyis nas kha-tsam-tshig-tsamma-yin-par bsam-pa-thag-pas te snying-thag-pa-nas mgon-po sangs-rgyas sras dang bcas-pa la mthol-zhing-bshags te slan-chad kyang sdom-par-bgyi’o // inserted root text: stanza 30 bdag gis dkon-mchog-gsum dang ni / pha-ma’am bla-ma gzhan-dag la / nyon-mongs sgo-nas lus ngag dang / yid kyis gnod-bgyis gang lags-pa / [215] khyad-par nyes-pa che-shos yul yon-tan-kyi-zhing bdag gis sangs-rgyas chos dge- ’dun te dkon-mchog-gsum dang ni phan-’dogs-pa’i-zhing pha dang ma’am yon-tangyi-khur-du-lci zhing bkur-bar-’os-pa’i-zhing mkhan-slob sogs bla-ma gzhan-dag la kun-slong chags-sdang-rmongs-gsum la-sogs-pa’i nyon-mongs-pa’i sgo-nas sbyor-ba lus kyis bcom-brlag brdung-brdeg sogs dang ngag gis skur-’debs ngan-smra sogs dang yid kyis log-lta ngan-sems sogs gnod-pa-bgyis-pa gang lags-pa dang / sangs-rgyas dang chos dang chos-’chad-pa-po’i yo-byad thams-cad sangs-rgyas dang chos kyi dkor yin la de-dag rku-’phrog dang g.

speech and mind. teachers and others. recognizing this. As Ajita (Maitreya) said (in the Uttara-tantra): How should someone who has in his mind aversion toward the dharma ever gain liberation? [216] Among these. mother. My father. aversion and ignorance—this being my motivation. from the depth of my heart. Therefore. hitting and beating with my body. the harm I have inflicted) to the field of qualities. seeing faults as faults. I rejoiced and took delight in the negativity of others. and promise (not to repeat these negative deeds) in the future. All things that belong to the Buddha. protectors. upon the field heavily loaded with qualities and worthy of praise: the teachers such as my preceptors. masters and others … property are grave mistakes. about what to do and what to avoid. not just with mere words or mere talk. I openly confess to you. the worst mistakes (possible. ignorant about cause and effect. With body. the dharma and the saṃgha. the three jewels: the Buddha. slandering and saying bad things with my speech. To the three jewels.” inserted root text: stanza 30 Whatever harm I have done due to my afflictions.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 97 inserted root text: stanza 29 Overwhelmed by the delusion of ignorance. and to the expounders of the dharma are the property of the Buddha and the dharma. whatever I may have done. there is no difference in their gravity. upon the field of benefits: my father and mother. that is to say. and in particular. Whichever of these three negative deeds I have done. [215] Whatever harm I have done due to my afflictions such as attachment. Recognizing this as a fault. to the buddhas and their sons. as a fault or as a mistake. and killing. protectors. I confess to you. actions that harm the (three) jewels and the stealing of monastic . [214] Overwhelmed by the delusion of ignorance. to the dharma. Stealing and robbing these or taking what is not given through deceit and so forth (have dire results). from the depth of my heart or from the bottom of my heart. I rejoiced (in negativity). Whichever of these (deeds) I have done. and maintaining wrong views and a negative attitude with my mind and so forth—this being my application. destroying.

yo-sgyus-blang na bshags-pa’i thabs-medpar dmyal-bar skye nges-par mdo las gsungs te / dge-’dun gyi ni rdo-rje dang ’dra’o // dge-’dun gyi ni dug dang ’dra’o // dug la ni gnyen-po yod kyi // dge-’dun gyi ni ma yin no // [219] dge-’dun gyi phru-ba ste rdza-kho la longs-spyad-pas de-lta-bu’i dmyal-ba skyes-pa’i lo-rgyus sogs dang / gzhan-yang lha-khang steng mar ’bul rgyu ’og-ma dang / ’ogmar ’bul rgyu steng-ma dang / dge-’dun-pa’i-dbyar-rnyed dgun dang dgun-rnyed dbyar du ’jog-pa dang / de-ring ’bul rgyu sang-nang bar bzhag du mi-rung-bar thams-cad-mkhyen-pa sangs-rgyas kyis gsungs so // [220] de’i-tshul cung-zad-cig sngon-gyi gtam-dang-sbyar na / ’dul-ba las / dge-’dun gyi ’du-khang rtsigs-pa dang ka-ba la mchil-ma dang snabs kyis ma-rung-ba-byas-pas rtsigs-pa dang ka-ba lta-bu’i dmyal-ba dang / gtun dang phyags-ma sogs rang-gis longs-spyad-pas gtun dang phyags-ma lta-bu’i dmyal-bar skye-ba dang / dge-’dunpa’i dbyar-rnyed dgun-rnyed dang dgun-rnyed dbyar-rnyed du bsgyur nas ma bgospas sems-can sked-pa chad-pa chus-rgyus kyis sbrel-ba ’gro zhing shin-tu sdugbsngal-bar gsungs-pa dang / [221] mdzangs-blun las / shing-sdong chen-po khab-rtse tsam-yang ma khyab-pa med-par srin-bu sna-tshogs kyis khyab cing za-bar-gyur-bas shin-tu sdug-bsngal zhing ’o-dod’bod-pa yang dge-’dun-gyi-las-byed-pa li-ta zhes-bas dge-’dun-gyi-dkor la rang-spyad cing bza-’ btung gzhan khyim-pa’i-phyogs la byin-pa’i rnam-smin rang shing-sdong dang gzhan srin-bur gyur-ba dang de las ’phos te dmyal-bar skye-bar gsungs-pa dang / .98 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [217] grub-thob-skyer-sgang-pa’i sku-lus aḥ dkar-pos lan-mang phugs nas na-tsha drag-po byung-ba brgyad-stong-pa’i tshab yon-bdag bdag gis drang-pa’i rnam-smin du gsungs-pa sogs dang / [218] de la phyogs-bcu’i dge-’dun-gyi-dkor dang de-las-kyang zhal-du-’du-ba’i-sgo nyes-pa shin-tu che-bar gsungs te / mdor-na dge-’dun la dbang-ba’i yo-byad che-phra gangdang-gang rku-’phrog dang tshong sogs g.

32 See mdzangs blun. Furthermore. the Sūtra of the Wise One and the Fool . That (tree had been) a helper of the saṃgha called ‘Lita’ who used the property of the saṃgha for himself and also gave food and drinks to his relatives. There is none for (misusing the property of) the saṃgha. just because he used a cooking pot [phru ba]. this being the short collection in one single volume. suffering tremendously. Even if one uses only a dustbin. things that belong to the saṃgha. and his relatives became insects. just as if it were perforated by needles. one will certainly take rebirth in hell.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 99 [217] (For example). that is to say a clay pot [rdza khog]. the vinaya says: It is not appropriate to spit at or smear snot onto the walls or pillars of a temple hall of the saṃgha. and he thus suffered from a severe disease. to hand out the summer earnings of the saṃgha in the winter or the winter earnings in the summer. In short. The (property of the) saṃgha is like poison. offerings made directly to the saṃgha [zhal du ’du ba’i sgo]. As a karmic ripening he became a tree. 31 The Short-length Mother [yum bsdus pa] refers to the Prajñāpāramitā in eight thousand lines [brgyad stong pa]. doing business and so forth. as there is no method to confess (this misdeed). [219] Among others. a broom or the like (that belongs to the saṃgha). Thus. “This is the (karmic) ripening from keeping the money a sponsor gave me to (recite) the Aṣṭa-sāhasrikā. one will take a rebirth as an insect with a waistline which is (almost) severed and joined only by a tiny thread and will have intense suffering. If one does not hand out the summer earnings of the saṃgha but uses them for the winter earnings or the winter earnings for the summer earnings. it uttered lamentations. He said. (belonging to) the saṃgha. the Omniscient Buddha said that it is improper to give what was meant for the upper temple to the lower. Thus. [221] In the Damamāko-sūtra32 it is said: A big tree was covered with various insects who ate it. is said to be an extremely great misdeed. whatever they may be. It was said that after he died. if one acquires with deceit. big or small. even more so. the body of the siddha Kyer-Gang-Pa was pierced many times by white A letters.31 (without doing the recitation). a story (is told) about someone who took rebirth in (a clay pot-like) hell.” [218] (Mishandling or stealing) the possessions of the saṃgha of the ten directions and. through stealing. he took rebirth in the hell realms. But while there are remedies for poison. it is said in the sūtras: The (property of the) saṃgha is (indigestible) like a diamond (vajra). or to hand out what was given for today on the next day. robbing. one will take rebirth in a dustbin or broom-like hell realm. because one will take rebirth in a wall or pillar-like hell realm. [220] To illustrate this a little bit with (appropriate) stories from the past.

100 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [222] rgyal-po’i-khab kyi grong-khyer kyi mi-gtsang-ba’i ldeng-ka zhig gi nang na srin-bu sbrul ’dra-ba rkang-pa bzhi yod-pa lo mang-por sdug-bsngal tshad-med-pa myong-ba der ston-pa ’khor-bcas byon te ’khor rnams la de’i las bstan-pa / [223] sngon sangs-rgyas rnam-gzigs kyi bstan-pa la / dge-slong stong-phrag-bcu-bzhi dgon-par-gnas-pa la tshong-pa lnga-brgyas rin-po-che bsod-nam-kyi-zong du phul-ba bzhes nas zhal-ta-ba’i dge-slong la gtad do // phyi bsod-snyoms kyis brel nas zhal-taba la sngar-kyi rin-po-che btsong ngam zhes-pas de khros te khyed-cag skyag-paza’am / kho-bo gcig-pu la byin gyi khyed kun la ma byin no zer-bas / dge-’dun kyang so-sor-gyes so // [224] rgyu des mtshams-med-pa’i-dmyal-ba-chen-por ltung / ngan-skyugs kyi nang-du bskal-pa dgu-bcu-rtsa-gcig gi bar-du ’gre-’gre’o // de las thar nas da-lta ’dir nganskyugs kyi khung-bur skyes nas lo mang-po lon yang ma thar te / ’di-lta-ste [225] sngon ’das-pa’i-sangs-rgyas rin-chen-gtsug-tor-can dge-’dun ’khor-bcas ’dir gshegs nas nyer-gnas rnams la ’di’i las bstan to // de-nas sangs-rgyas thams-cad-skyob kyang de-bzhin-du bstan to // de-nas tshe-’phos te yang dmyal-bar skyes te lo khragkhrig grangs-med-pa du-ma lon nas phyir yang khung-bu ’dir skyes so // de’i-’og-tu / ’khor-ba-’jig dang / gser-thub dang / ’od-srung gis kyang de-bzhin-du bstan to // de-bzhin sangs-rgyas-stong-po kun nyer-gnas dang bdas te ’dir gshegs nas srin-bu ’di’i sngon-las ston-par-’gyur ro zhes gsungs-pa dang / dge-slong rnams spu-langs te lus-ngag-yid-gsum shin-tu bsrung-ba la brtson-par-gyur to zhes mdzangs-blun las so // [226] nā-len-tra’i byang-phyogs na / su-khyen-grong zhes-pa sa-phug dang bcas-pa gcig na / byis-pa mang-po rtse-ba’i dbus-su rlung-tshub-’khyil-ba me-’phro-ba gcig byung-ba la / byis-pa rnams kyis rdo-rub-byas-pas / byis-pa bros dus-su ’bog-pa gcig la btab nas rkang-pa phyin-ka log-tu-’gro zhing pags-pa’i-skyi shig-shig-byas te / kha-nas me-lce nyug cing / sam-skṛ-ta’i-skad-du thams-cad la ’bar ro // [227] de’i nye-’khor na byams-pa sgom-pa’i rnal-’byor-pa gcig yod-pa des gsan nas / byis- pa ’di-’dras kyang saṃ-skṛ-ta’i-skad shes-pa ngo-mtshar-che’o snyam nas nyan-du phyin-pas de la me-’bar-ba ’dug nas rgyu-mtshan-dris-pas / ’di rnams sdang-sems kyis nyan-pas ’bar la khyod dad-sems kyis nyan-pas mi ’bar-ba yin zer / .

(While they were running). in a sewage pond.” and went there to listen. pages 466-469. It was not given to all of you. “Did you sell the jewels from before?” He became angry and replied. He asked (the preta who had taken possession of the child). Because you welcomed me with a devoted mind. once again. . [227] Nearby was a yogin who was meditating on loving-kindness. Later. This is how it is. a tongue of flame issued from his mouth. one (child) who had thrown (a stone) was possessed (by the preta).Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 101 [222] Again. his entourage. when (the monks) were deprived of alms. Later. Ratna Śikhin. he has now been born in this pit of vomit. “Eat shit. He heard (the child) and thought. After (the snake-like insect) died. in the city of Rājagṛha. “What is the reason that this (child) is burning?” (The preta) answered. the Buddha of the past. and ran away.” 33 See mdzangs blun chapter 50. The teacher (Buddha Śākyamuni) went there together with his entourage and taught them. [223] In a former era. For ninety-one aeons he rolled around in vomit. during the doctrine of Buddha Vipaśyin. there dwelled a snake-like insect with four legs. and his entire (body) started to burn up. the monks’ hair stood on end. As (Buddha) had thus spoken. (On one occasion a preta in the form of) a whirlwind of sparkling firelight arose among them. Likewise. all one thousand buddhas and their disciples will come here and teach about the previous karma of this insect. (in the sewage pond). Then. you! This was given only to me. and Buddha Kāśyapa taught about the karma of this being. the surface of his skin [pags pa'i skyi] began to peel away [shig shig byas pa]. and he still will not be liberated from it for many years.33 [226] To the north of Nālandā (University) was (a place) called the Village of Katvaṃ. it was born in this hole. who were living at a monastery. Buddha Kanakamuni. you are not being burned. about the karma of that being. it was again born in hell and stayed there for one hundred thousand incalculable years. (Suddenly. Buddha Krakucchanda. who experienced immeasurable suffering for many years. speech and mind. they asked Vaiyāpṛta. forty thousand fully ordained monks. his) feet pointed backwards. [224] For this reason (Vaiyāpṛta) fell into the great hell without any intermediate state. who offered them as meritorious merchandise.” Because of this the saṃgha was dispersed. he began speaking in the Sanskrit language. [225] Also. “(This child) is burning because they welcomed me [nyan pas] with angry minds. received jewels from five hundred businessmen. came together with his entourage to that place and taught his disciples [nyer gnas] about the karma of this being. The children threw stones at it. After being freed from this (state). and they endeavored to be very disciplined in body. Buddha Viśvabhukra then taught about the same. In the ground was a cave around which many child (monks) played. “How amazing that even a child like this knows Sanskrit. So the Damamākosūtra (narrates). entrusting them to the fully ordained monk (named) Vaiyāpṛta [zhal ta ba].

102 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [228] ’o-na ’dir las gang-gis skyes dris-pas / btsun-pa ’di rnams thon-gcig dang / khyod byams-pa’i rnal-‘byor bzang-po gcig ’dug-pas drang-por-bshad do zer te / bton-pas / nga nā-lendra’i mkhan-po rgyal-’byung yin te / nga-rang bdag-po yin snyams nas / dge-’dun gyi ’bras-snyigs bre-phyed thub-chod-du-spyad-pas / da-lta lto bsregs-pa’i yi-dvags su skyes nas rtag-tu nang-khrol thams-cad ’bar-ba’i mes-bsreg-pa’i me-lce kha sna nas nyug-pa yin / [229] sde-snod bzhugs-pa’i gtsug-lhag-khang du mchil-lham ma phud-par phyin-pas rkang-pa phyin-log-tu ’chu-ba dang / nga ni ’du-khang gi thub-sku la sgron-me phulbas sku-mnye-byas te skyin-pa ’tshab-pa ma grub-pas / pags-pa’i-skyi shig-pa’i sdugbsngal rtag-tu yod-pas dkor ’di ’jigs / dkon-mchog-gsum las dge-’dun-gyi-dkor ’di kho-na lci-bar ’dug go zer / [230] ’di las nam thar dris-pas / ’di las lo stong-phrag-bco-lnga na thar te / de-nas mnar- med du ’gro dgos-par ’dug zer / ’di la bshags-thabs med dam byas pas / las-’bras la khyad-gsod-byas-pas ye-med zer / dge-’dun-gyi-dkor la ’dzem na phan-yon che ste / nga’i nyer-gnas dpal-yon bya-bas dge-’dun la srog-pas gces shing yo-byad la dug bas ’jigs-pa gcig yod de kho ’chi-khar ’ja’-’od dang rol-mo dang bcas nas lha dang chosskyong gis bsus nas song / kho da-tsam ’khor-ba las grol te mchi zer / [231] ’o-na btsun-gzhon rnams gdon dgos-pa’i rgyu-mtshan dris-pas / de thams-cad nga’i mkhan-bu yin-pas thos na nga ngo-tsha khong rnams yi-mug nas ’gro zer / de-nas dar-tsam-gcig dran-med-du-song / [232] yang lab-pa la da-ci-nas-gar-phyin dris-pas / phu-ya-gi-na rnal-’byor-pa gcig ’dug- pa’i dge-sbyor gyi bar-chad la phyin zer / khyed mkhan-po sde-snod-gsum shes-pa gcig de-’dra byed-pa zhan byas-pas / bden te nga’i shes-pa la rang-dbang-med zer yang song yang byis-pa de la btab nas lus thams-cad drod-du-byas te kha sna nas melce-nyug cing thams-cad la ’bar-ba la / [233] sngar-gyi rnal-’byor de spyan-drangs te / khro-bo’i-dmigs-pa gcig byas-pas kho rgod cing gtum-po’i bskyed-rim la brtan-pa thob-pas / ’jig-rten gyi nus-mthu-can su la’ang mi-’jigs zer / .

he was instantaneously [da tsam] liberated from saṃsāra.” When they had been sent away. my feet point backwards. since you are a noble yogin of loving-kindness.” and left. Dying. with tongues of fire issuing from its mouth. “Where did you go just now?” (The preta) replied. The fire that is constantly burning up my entire intestines issues as tongues of flames from my mouth. “Is there no method to confess this?” (The preta replied). only the property of the saṃgha carries such weight. Monastic property is frightening. If one is sensitive toward the property of the saṃgha. Feeling like I was the owner of Nālandā. fiery visualizations. “I went to create obstacles to the virtuous practice of one yogin who lives in that upper part of the valley. “When will you be released from this life?” “I will be released from this life after fifteen thousand years. I ate illicitly [thub chod] half a measure of rice husk belonging to the saṃgha.” [230] (The yogin asked).” . When he was about to die. From among the three jewels. Why do you behave so badly?” (The preta) replied. but I am not scared of anybody who has such worldly powers. Since I anointed my body [sku mnye byas te] with the (butter for) the offering lamps offered to the Buddha statue in the temple hall and never paid back my debt. (the preta) said. he passed away escorted by gods and dharmapalas. again possessing the child. I would be ashamed and they would be saddened. “What kind of karma caused you to be born here?” (The preta said). “He has attained stability in wrathful. accompanied by rainbows.” [231] (The yogin asked). if they heard (this story). [233] Then the precious yogin (from the upper part of the valley) was called.” (The yogin said). “I was a professor of Nālandā (monastery) who was called Gyal-Jung [rgyal ’byung]. My disciple [nye gnas] called Pal-Yön [dpal yon] was one who loved the saṃgha more than his own life and feared their property more than poison.” (The yogin asked). I (now) constantly suffer the peeling away of my skin. (the yogin) asked him. “What is the reason for sending the young monks away?” (The preta said). “That’s true. but I cannot control my mind. and I will tell (the story) truthfully. “(The consequences of) cause and effect should never be underestimated [khyad gsod byas pas].” Then (the preta) briefly fell unconscious. “Send the monks away. Then I must go to the Avīci hell. burning it up entirely. I have now taken birth as a preta with a burning belly. so that its entire body became hot.“ [229] “Because I did not remove my shoes when I entered the temple hall containing the three baskets (of teachings). [232] When (the preta) could talk again. Due to that. “As they were all my students (before). (the preta) said. who knows the three baskets (of teachings). lights and music.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 103 [228] (The yogin) asked. the benefit is great. When he performed a wrathful concentration. “You are a preceptor.

104 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [234] ’o-na kho-can ’ong-ba’i rgyu-mtshan dris-pas / ngas zas-bag re rnyed kyang zos na lto’i me-la-shing-bsnan-pa bzhin ’gyur gyin ’dug nas sngar-’dris-kyi-bag-chags kyis kho ltog-pa la ster-du-’ong-ba yin te / kho’i las-ngan sad-rkyen-byed gyin ’dug-pa zer [235] de-dag gi rgyu-mtshan dris-pas da mkhan-po-byed dus su / kho nā-lentra’i brda’- sprod slob-tu-’ong nas brtul-zhugs dang mi ldan-par dge-’dun-gyi-tshul dang chu shing la spyad-pa’i mthong-chos zer / [236] des ’dzad dam dris-pas / myong mgo-btsugs kyis rnam-smin phyi-ma yi-dvags su ’gro zer / de la thabs yod dam byas-pas dge-’dun rang la bsnyen-bkur-byas te / spyan-sngar mthol-zhing-bshags na ’dag go zer / [237] rnal-’byor-pas de la dmigs-pa’i byams-pa yud-tsam skyes-pas / thal-mo-sbyar te ma yang byon bdog gam zer nas mchi-ma-phral-byas te song-bas phyin-chad der ma ’khor ro / der de-bzhin tshogs su mthol te / glengs-pas der ’dus phal-cher khong gi mkhan-bu yin-par ’dug nas thams-cad cho-nges-song ngo // des-na bcom-ldan-’das kyis dge-’dun-gyi-rdzas la sha-bu’i ’du-shes-bzhag-par-bya’o zhes-pa’i don to // [238] yang sngon skyes-bu lnga-brgyas khyim-bya’i-lha-khang gi dge’-dun kyi chu-rnyog- pas chu des ’bras-btsor ma btub-pas de’i nyin dge-’dun gyi chos-ston-chags-pas de’i rnam-smin gyis yi-dvags ’jigs-su-rung-ba lnga-brgyar skyes shing sdug-bsngal-ba’itshul mdo las gsungs-pa dang / [239] yang jo-bo-rje nā-lentra na bzhugs dus-na / zhal-ta-ba chos-bzhin byed-pa gcig yod / des nyin-gcig dge-’dun la btung-ba-’dren-pa byung yang gcig byung-ba na de-ring skom-mang-po yod kyi sang ma byung na mi-nyan-pas nang-par drang snyam ste bzhag-pa dang mtshan-mo skom shin-tu ches-pas chu-zangs-chen-mo nas chu ’thungbar phyin-pa dang chu-zangs su chu-skam nas chu-thig kyang mi ’dug / .

he went to drink water from the big copper water tank. “He must pay homage directly to the saṃgha.” [235] (The first yogin) asked. “When I eat. he came to Nālandā to study grammar. Due to my former habits. then that would be incorrect [mi nyan pa]. I would rather distribute (the water) tomorrow. As the (karmic) ripening of this. “Has (his bad karma) been exhausted through this?” (The preta) replied. When he openly confesses right in front of them. (My causing trouble for him) is a condition for clearing away his bad karma. I came to him to satisfy my hunger. “Will I never come back?” Shedding tears (the preta) left and never again returned.” [237] When the (first) yogin developed loving-kindness toward this (preta) for one brief moment. he is (experiencing the karma) of visible retribution in this life. at the time when Lord (Atiśa) was residing at Nālandā. most of whom had been his students.”34 [236] (The first yogin) asked. 34 karma experienced in this life [mthong chos myong 'gyur gyi las] 35 By not distributing all the water. “If I make a (generous) distribution (of water now). . “The experience (of his karmic ripening) has begun but its ripening will lead to (his birth) as a preta in his next life. in former times five hundred people had polluted the water of a saṃgha’s kitchen temple [khyim bya’i lha khang]. he enjoyed the lifestyle of a saṃgha (member) as well as (monastic property such as) water and wood. keep (in mind) the metaphor of a flesh-eating insect [sha bu].Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 105 [234] (The first yogin who was meditating on loving-kindness then) asked. Becoming very thirsty that night. “Concerning the property of the saṃgha. While (the preta) was openly recounting (his story) to the assembly. there was a servant [zhal ta ba] who practiced in accordance with the dharma. (the five hundred people) were born as five hundred frightful pretas. he left. (his negative karma) can be purified. he was actually withholding from the saṃgha something that was due them on that same day. “At the time when I was professor. But if I cannot make (a distribution) tomorrow (because of being too generous today and not leaving enough water).” [238] Futhermore. One day.35” (Thinking) thus. Therefore. “What is the reason for this?” (The preta) replied. [239] Once again. (understand) the meaning of what the Bhagavān said. but the water in the copper tank had dried up and not even a drop of water remained. Since (the saṃgha) was thus unable to use it for cooking rice. it is like adding wood to the fire in my belly. even if I only get a little barley as food. and their manner of suffering is recounted in the sūtras. he was the distributor of drinks and he thought. the dharma teaching of the saṃgha for this day was interrupted. Because of this. they all began to cry [cho nges song ngo]. Without keeping any discipline. Therefore. “What can he do about this?” (The preta) replied. “Why did you go to (that yogin)?” (The preta) replied.” (The first yogin) asked. there will be plenty of water for today. (the preta) joined his palms and said.

106 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [240] da ci bkang na da med-pa mi-srid nga ’khrul ’dug brtag-par-bya snyam ste rdo gicg der bzhag / de-nas sgo na mtsho’u che-ba yod-pa la btung ngo snyam-pas song-ba na de-yang skam nas ’dug / ’di-’dra mi-srid nga ’khrul ’dug ’on-kyang brtag-par snyam ste / dkyil-du tho-chen-po-brtigs nas bzhag / [241] yang gang-gā la btung ngo snyam-pas de-yang skam nas ’dug /’di-’dra mi-srid nga ’khrul ’dug ’on-kyang brtag snyam ste gang-gā’i-pha-rol-na shing-sdong zhig ’dug-pa la chos-gos dkris nas bzhag / skom-gyis-gdung bzhin nyal nang-bar bltas tshe chuzangs chus bkang-ba’i nang-du rdo bcug ’dug / mtsho’u ye-thar-rgyu-med-pa de’i nang-du tho-chen-brtsigs ’dug / gang-gā’i-pha-rol gyi shing-sdong la chos-gos dkris pa mthong-ba bzhin gsungs / de-ma-thag-’bras-bu-smin-pa sgrib-pa chung-bas yin gsungs / [242] de-nas bla-ma dang dgon-sde’i phyag-mdzod dang spyi-khag dkor-gnyer-ba sogs las- ’dzin-pa che-chung rnams kyi gtsos bla-ma dang dge-’dun-pa la phan-tshun ’brel zhing ’dris-che-ba rnams la shin-tu ’byung nye-ba’i dkon-mchog gi dkor spyi dang khyad par dge-’dun-pa’i-dkor ’di la thugs-gzab bag-yod re ma mdzad na bskal-ba mang-po’i bar-du dmyal-bar btso-bsreg la-sogs-pa’i sdug-bsngal mi-bzad-pa myong nges-pa la bsams nas cung-zad re-e-phan snyam-pa’i sems kyis smras-pa ’di la gzigs shing bag-yod res bka’-drin yang zhu / inserted root text : stanza 31 nyes-pa du-mas skyon-chags-pa'i / sdig-can bdag gis sdig-pa gang / shin-tu mi-bzad bgyis-pa de / thams-cad-’dren-pa rnams la bshags / [243] de-ltar sgo-gsum nyes-pa du-mas skyon sems-rgyud la lcags la g.ya’ ltar chags shing gnas-pa’i sdig-can nam sdig-rgan-po bdag gis sdig-pa gang shin-tu nyes-pa che zhing mi-bzad-pa dmyal-ba la-sogs-par skye-ba’i las-ngan bgyis-pa de thams-cad ’dren-pa sangs-rgyas sras dang bcas-pa rnams la so-sor-mthol-zhing-bshags so // .

“I’ll drink from the Ganga (river). and abide. primarily those who hold high or low posts such as treasurers to the lama’s monastery. He reflected.” When he went that (big pond) was also dried up. and others to consider what was said (above) and be heedful. the stone was still in the copper tank. I (Khenpo Kunpal) kindly request all those who have intimate and mutual relationships with the lama and the saṃgha.” He placed a stone in (the tank). Still suffering from thirst. like rust (clings) to iron—have committed. “This is impossible.” he thought. to the buddhas and their sons. This is said to be the immediate ripening of the result of a minor obscuration (of withholding water from the saṃgha). (which was so deep) that no one could ever get out of it. inserted root text: stanza 31 Whatever negative deeds I. (those) which (cause) rebirth in the hell realms and so on. “I’ll (go) drink from the big pond at the gate (of the monastery). the old evildoer. to the guides of all. When he (went) to investigate in the morning. I must be deluded. and especially about the property of the saṃgha. I’ll look into this. And on the other shore of the Ganga (river) he saw his dharma robes wrapped around the trunk of the tree.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 107 [240] He considered. [241] Again. he thought.” But even this (river) had dried up. the wicked one—to whose mind the stains of various mistakes (carried out with) the three gates cling. to which they are dangerously exposed [shin tu 'byung nye ba'i dkon mchog]. they will certainly experience for many aeons unbearable suffering in hell such as being fried. . “Since this was just full. I think that if they are not very careful and heedful about the general property of the (three) jewels.” So he placed a large demarcation stone in the center (of the pond) and left. the wicked one— (To whose mind) the stains of various mistakes cling— Have committed. which was (now) filled with water. larder managers [spyi khag]. [242] With the thought that it might be of some benefit. general managers [dkor gnyer]. I confess them openly. a large demarcation stone was still there. “I must be deluded. Then he thought. (even) the most intolerable acts. burned and the like. I must be deluded. (even) the most grave misdeeds and intolerable negative acts. But nonetheless I’ll investigate it. [243] (And) likewise. In the pond. whatever negative deeds I. “This is impossible.” So he wrapped his dharma robes around the trunk of a tree that was standing on the other shore of the Ganga (river) and left. But I’ll still look into it. So it is told. one by one. I confess them to the guides of all. he (went) to sleep. it can’t be empty now.

108 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 32 bdag ni sdig pa ma byang bar / sngon-du ’gum-par-’gyur du mchi / ji-ltar 'di las nges thar-bar / myur-ba’i tshul-gyis bskyab-tu-gsol / [244] de-yang myur-du bshags dgos-pa’i rgyu-mtshan nam-’chi-cha-med ’chi-rkyen nges- pa-med-pas dus-de-ring-nyid-du mi ’chi-ba’i nges-pa-med la / shi na ’chi-kha gnadgcod-kyi-sdug-bsngal / shi-nas bar-do’i-sdug-bsngal phyi-ma ngan-song-gi-sdugbsngal thams-cad rgyu sdig-pa mi-dge-ba las byung-bas na rang gis sngar-byas kyi sdig-pa la ’gyod-sems dang / phyin-chad sdom-sems kyis gnyen-po dge-ba’i-las la ma ’bad na bdag ni sdig-pa byas-pa’i las-ngan bshags-pas ma byang-bar sngon-du ’gumpar-’gyur-du-mchi zhes ’chi-bar-’gyur la / sdig-pa ma bshags-par shi na ngan-song lasogs-pa’i sdug-bsngal myong-bar-’gyur-bas na thabs ji-ltar sdig-pa ’di las rang-rgyud nges-par thar-bar-’gyur-ba zhig myur zhing rings-ba’i-tshul gyis bskyab-par-mdzaddu-gsol zhes so // inserted root text: stanza 33 yid-brtan mi-rung ’chi-bdag ’di / byas dang ma byas mi sdod-pas / na dang mi na kun gyis kyang / glo-bur tshe la yid-mi-brtan / [245] dus-nam-zhig-na ’chi-bar-’gyur na’ang / de-ring kho-nar sdig-pa bshags su mi khoms-pas de’i-bar-du ’chi-bar mi ’gyur ro snyams nas yid-brtan nam yid-ches bya mi rung-ba’i ’chi-bdag-gi-bdud ’di ni rang-gi sdig-bshags la-sogs-pa’i bya-ba’i mgobrtsams zin-pa byas-pa dang ma brtsam-pa ma byas-pa da-gdod bya-bar ’dod-pa lasogs-pa de dang de sgrub-pa’i bar-du mi sdod-pas gcong-can gcig gi tshe la gcongmed brgya zhes-pa ltar .

inserted root text: stanza 33 This unreliable (Māra of) Death Will not wait. As (one proverb) says: “Many a healthy person dies during the lifespan (remaining to) someone who is terminally ill. but because today I simply have no time to confess my wicked deeds. the suffering of the intermediate state after death. Since the cause for all suffering—the suffering of being cut off from life at the moment of death when I die. who is unreliable and untrustworthy. Should place his trust in this fleeting life. then I may well come to perish. if I do not (develop) regret for my previously committed wicked deeds and do not endeavor in virtuous actions as the remedy with a mind that is resolved (not to repeat them) in the future. will not wait until you have accomplished this or that. [245] You might think. and the suffering of the (three) lower realms in the next life—comes from negative deeds and non-virtuous actions. therefore. If I die without having confessed my wicked deeds. and if I experience the suffering of the (three) lower realms and the like. before the accumulated bad karma that I have created due to my wicked deeds has been purified through confession. (whether your tasks) are completed or not completed. [244] The reason I should confess (my misdeeds) quickly is the uncertainty of death and the uncertainty of the circumstances of death.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 109 inserted root text: stanza 32 I may well come to perish Before my wicked deeds have been purified. no one. meaning that I may die. like having begun or completed any actions such as confessing your negative (deeds). what you have not yet begun or completed. What then will liberate me with certainty from these? Please grant me your protection in a swift manner. “I will die at one point in time. Therefore.” But this Māra of Death. It is not even certain that I will not die today. or (whether or not you have accomplished) what you wished to do later. neither the ill nor the healthy.” . I will not die until I have done so. what method will then liberate my mind with certainty from these wicked deeds? Please grant me your protection in a swift and quick manner.

110 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [246] na ba dang mi na ba bde-bar-gnas-pa kun gyis kyang ste su yin kyang sprin-gseb kyi nyi-zhur dang rlung nang gi mar-me da-lta yod kyang glo-bur-du med-par-’gyur-ba lta-bu’i glo-bur-nyid-du mi ’chi-ba’i nges-pa-med-pas tshe ’di la yid-mi-brtan zhes de-ring kho-nar mi ’chi snyam-pa’i yid-brtan-bca’ mi rung ste dus-nam ’chi gnas ’dir chi / ’chi-rkyen ’dis ’chi sogs nges-med-pas de-ring kho-nar mi ’chi-ba’i nges-pa-med de / [247] klu’i-dbang-pos / tshe ’dir gnod mang rlung-gis-btab-pa yi // chu-yi chu-bur bas kyang mi-rtag na // dbugs-dbyung dbugs-rngub gnyid-kyis-log-pa las // sad-khoms gang lags de ni ngo-mtshar-che // zhes gsungs-pa ltar ro // inserted root text: stanza 34 thams cad bor te chas dgos par / bdag gis de ltar ma shes pas / mdza' dang mi mdza’i don gyi phyir / sdig pa rnam pa sna tshogs byas / [248] gal-te shi-bar-gyur na sa-cha yul-ris gnyen-grogs srid-sde dgra-gnyen khyim-bza’ tshang rgyu-longs-spyod tha-na rang-nyid kyi zas gos lus dang bcas-pa thams-cad bor te tshe-pha-rol-du rang-nyid gicg-pur cha zhes ’gro dgos-par bdag gis tshul deltar ma shes-pas mdza’-ba gnyen nye-ba grogs dga’-mdza’ skyong-ba’i don dang mimdza’i don te mi-dza’-ba dgra rnams ’dul-ba’i don gyi phyir ’dod-chags dang zhesdang la-sogs-pa’i sgo-nas srog-gcod-pa ma-byin-pa-len-pa la-sogs sdig-pa rnam-padu-ma byas kyang don-med de inserted root text: stanza 35 mi-mdza’ rnams kyang med-’gyur zhing / mdza’-ba rnams kyang med-par-’gyur / bdag kyang med-par-’gyur-ba ste / de-bzhin thams-cad med-par-’gyur / .

Friends will cease to be. neither the ill nor the healthy. I too will cease to be.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 111 [246] Therefore. [247] Nāgārjuna said:36 Since life with its many ills is even more impermanent Than a wind-blown water bubble. at which place one will die. inserted root text: stanza 35 Foes will cease to be. (such actions) are meaningless. Therefore. Likewise. close ones. leaving all behind: one’s place. beloved ones. aversion and so forth. relatives and friends. whoever it may be. acquaintances. or a lamp in the wind. enemies and companions. leaving all behind. that exists now but suddenly ceases to exist. not understanding this. (motivated) by attachment. should place his trust in this life. there is (also) no certainty about whether one will not simply die today. possessions and riches or at the very least. Have committed various kinds of negative deeds For the sake of friends and foes. that is to say for the sake of defeating foes and enemies. just like a sunbeam that cracks the clouds. one must depart or go alone. not understanding this condition. inserted root text: stanza 34 One must depart (alone). But I. everything will cease to be. It is improper to place one’s trust (in this fleeting life). But I. for the sake of protecting friends. who live happily. and for the sake of foes. including one’s own body. because in this fleeting (condition) there is no assurance that one will not die. I will not die. That we still have the chance to inhale after exhaling or To wake up again after having fallen asleep is most amazing. country. relatives. no one. See Tibetan commentary page 68 and English translation page 80 . have committed various kinds of negative deeds such as killing.” It is uncertain when one will die. at least. stealing and others. by oneself. 36 Suhṛl-lekha [spring yig]. thinking. Yet. through which circumstances one will die and so forth. [248] When one comes to die. one’s own food and clothing. community. “Today. family.

112 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [249] mi-mdza’-ba dgra rnams ma btul kyang shi-nas med-par-’gyur zhing mdza’-ba gnyen-grogs rnams bskyang yang phan-pa-med-par thams-cad shi nas med-par-’gyur la / der-ma-zad bdag rang-nyid kyang shi nas med-par-’gyur-ba ste / de-bzhin-du phyi-snod-kyi-’jig-rten ri gling la-sogs-pa dang / nang-bcud-kyi-’gro-ba dgra-gnyenbar-ma’i ’gro-ba mthon-po gnam lta-bu / btsan-po thog lta-bu / phyug-po klu lta-bu / mdzes-pa lha lta-bu // ’phyor-po ’ja’-tshon lta-bu dang / brtegs-pa’i mkhar / bsogs-pa’i nor / ’dus-pa’i pha-ma / spun-zla la-sogs-pa thams-cad med-par-’gyur-bas na de-yi-don-du sdig-pa-byas-pa don-med do // inserted root text: stanza 36 rmi-lam nyams-su-myong-ba bzhin / dngos-po gang-dang-gang spyad-pa / de de dran-pa’i-yul-du-‘gyur / ’das-pa thams-cad mthong-mi-’gyur / [250] de’i ’thad-pa dper-na mdang-gi-rmi-lam du gzugs la-sogs-pa’i ’dod-pa’i-yon-tan-lnga la longs-spyod-pa dang / dgra-’dul gnyen-skyong rnyed-bkur sogs gang-dang-gang nyams-su-myong yang da-nang sad-pa na dran-pa’i-yul-du-’gyur-ba-tsam las dngossu mi mthong-ba bzhin-du khar-sang phan-chad kyi bya-ba gzugs sogs yul-lnga la blang-dor dgra-’dul gnyen-skyong tshong dang so-nams rnyed-bkur snyan-grags zas gos longs spyod la-sogs-pa’i dngos-po gang-dang-gang ’dod cing longs-spyad-pa de dang de thams-cad de-ring ’di dang ’di-’dra myong ngo zhes // dran-pa’i-yul-tsam du ’gyur srid-pa las sngar ’das shing ’gag zin-pa de thams-cad da-lta mthong zhing phan-gnod nyams-su-myong-bar mi ’gyur-bas de-dag gi don-byas-pa don-med do // inserted root text: stanza 37 re-zhig gson-tshe ’di-nyid la’ang / mdza’ dang mi-mdza’ du-ma ’das / de-dag don-du byas-pa’i sdig / mi-bzad gang-yin mdun-na-gnas / .

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

113

[249] Even though I did not defeat my foes and enemies, they will (eventually) die and

cease to be. And even though I cared for my friends, relatives and associates, they did not benefit me (truly), and they will (eventually) die and all cease to be. Not only that, even I too will (eventually) die myself and cease to be. Likewise, the external universe, the world with Sumeru, the continents and so forth, the beings contained in it, enemies, relatives, neutral people; those as high as the sky, those as fierce as lightning, those rich like the nāgas, those beautiful like the gods, those lovely like a rainbow, fortresses that have been erected, wealth that has been accumulated, fathers and mothers who are united, brothers and sisters and so forth; everything will cease to be. Therefore, commiting negative deeds for their sake is pointless.
inserted root text: stanza 36

Just like an experience in a dream, Whatever things I have enjoyed Have become a (mere) object of memory of ‘this and that’. I will not see (again) anything that has passed.
[250] The reason for this, for example (is that) regardless of whatever experience I had in

yesterday’s dream—such as enjoying the five sense pleasures of (beautiful) sights and so forth, subduing my enemies, supporting my relatives, (achieving) gain, honor and the like—when I awoke this morning, I could in reality perceive nothing (of it) and it became just like a mere object of memory. (Likewise, all) activities until yesterday in regard to the five objects such as sights and so forth, whatever things I have desired and enjoyed—such as accepting and rejecting, subduing enemies, supporting relatives, business and work in the fields, gain and honor, fame, food, clothing, riches and so forth—about all this and that I can say, “That day I enjoyed this and that,” and (these experiences) have become nothing but a mere object of memory. I will now neither see again nor experience any harm or benefit (from) anything that has passed and ended. Therefore, giving meaning to those goals was meaningless.
inserted root text: stanza 37

Even within this very life, while I am briefly alive, Many friends and foes have passed, But whatever unbearable negative deeds I have committed for their sake, (The karmic ripening of these deeds) remains ahead of me.

114

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[251] tshe-rabs-snga-ma rnams kyi dgra-gnyen lta-ci re-zhig da-lta gson-pa’i tshe ’di-nyid

la’ang mdza’-ba dang mi-ndza’-ba du-ma mang-po zhig ’das-pa ste shi nas dran-yultsam-du-gyur-pa las de-dag gis dngos-su phan-gnod cung-zad med do // ’o-na dedag gi don-du sdig-pa-byas-pa’ang ’das te mi gnod do snyam na // de ni ma yin te ’di-ltar mdza’-ba dang mi-mdza’-ba de-dag gi don-du chags-sdang sogs la brten nas byas-pa’i sdig-pa rnam-smin mi-bzad-pa myong-bar-’gyur-ba gang-yin-pa de ni lus dang grib-ma bzhin-du mi ’bral-bar mdun-na sgugs-pa bzhin-du gnas te //

[252] rgyal-po-la-gdams-par /

dus-kyi-nyen te rgyal-po ’gro-’gyur na // ’khor dang longs-spyod gnyen-bshes rjes-mi-’brang // skyes-bu de ni gang-dang-gang skyes kyang // las ni grib-ma bzhin-du rjes-su-’brang // zhes-pa ltar dang /
[253] mdun-na gnas-pa yang dge-sdig gi ’bras-bu gang-yin yang de-bzhin-gshegs-pas dga’-

bo sum-cu-rtsa-gsum-gyi-lha-yul dang dmyar-bar khrid-par-mdzad-pas de-dang-der kho-rang skye-ba’i-gnas lha’i-khang-bzang dang dmyal-ba’i-me dang zangs-khar lasogs-pa mthong-ba dang / khyim-bdag mdangs-ldan gyis sangs-rgyas la kun-dga’-raba phul rgyu’i thig-gdab-pa na de’i rnam-par-smin-pa’i ’bras-bu da-lta-nas grub-par sha-ri’i-bus gsungs-pa bzhin te /
[254] dper-na da-lta bla-chen mi-chen gang-du ’gro-bar grva-’khor rnams kyis gzhi-btang

nas thab-bzungs37 te bsur-’ong-ba bzhin-du rang-rang-gi-las-snang sdig-can rnams la dmyal-ba la-sogs-par gshin-rje’i-las-mkhan rnams kyis bsu-ma-’ong nas ’khrid-par snang-ba dang / dge-ba-can rnams dag-pa’i-gnas su lha dang bla-mas bsu zhing khrid-pa snang-ba ’byung-bar gsungs-pa lta-bu’o //
inserted root text: 38

de-ltar bdag ni glo-bur zhes / bdag gis rtogs-pas ma gyur-pas / gti-mug chags dang zhe-sdang gis / sdig-pa rnam-pa du-ma byas /

37 B: thabs bzungs

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

115

[251] Putting aside my enemies and relatives of former lifetimes, even within this very life,

while I am presently briefly alive, many friends and foes have passed away, have died, and other than being a mere memory, they cannot really help or harm me in the slightest. I might think, “Whatever negative deeds I committed for their sake have passed and can’t harm me.” But that is not so. I will have to experience the unbearable (karmic) ripening, whatever it may be, of negative deeds which I committed for their sake, (for the sake of) these friends and foes based on attachment and aversion. (The karmic ripening of these deeds) will be as inseparable from me as my body from its shadow, and will remain before me like someone lying in wait.

[252] From the Sūtra of Instructions to the King:

Endangered by the time (of death), when (you) the king must go (to the next life), Neither your entourage and riches nor your family and friends will follow you. Wherever people take rebirth, Karma follows them like their shadow.
[253] (The ripening of your deeds) remains ahead of you, whatever the fruition of your

good and negative deeds may be. When the Bhagavān took (his cousin) Nanda to the celestial realm of the thirty-three [trayastriṃśa] and to the hell realms, (Nanda) saw here and there his own (future) places of rebirth, a beautiful celestial palace, the fire of the hell realms, the copper pot (of the hell realms) and so on. Or as when the sponsor named Śuka [mdangs ldan] took the measurements of a park he was to offer to the Buddha, and Śāriputra said that the result of the (karmic) ripening of this (act of generosity) would be accomplished during (Śuka’s) present (lifetime).
[254] For example, just as when great lamas and celebrities [mi chen], wherever they travel,

have their monks and entourage (go ahead to) set up a residence, build the hearth, and welcome them, similarly, in (people’s) own karmic perception, the wicked ones will perceive being welcomed [bsu ma ’ong] and taken to the hell realms and other (places) by the henchmen of the Lord of Death, while those who have practiced virtue will perceive being welcomed and taken by gods and lamas to the pure realms. So it is said.
inserted root text: stanza 38

Thus, as I did not realize That I am ephemeral, I committed many forms of negative deeds Out of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

116

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[255] de-dag gi don bsdu na de-ltar bdag ni nam-gzhug gi bung-ba’am ’gron-po lta-bu glo-

bur-ba sngar gang-nas ’ong-ba dang da gang-du ’gro-ba cha-med cing myur-ba-nyiddu med-par-’gyur-ba zhig yin no zhes bdag gis rtogs-pa’am shes-par ma gyur-pas rtag-’dzin a-’thas shing blang-dor la rmongs-pa’i gti-mug dang rang-phyogs dang ’dod-pa’i-don la ’dod-chags-pa dang / gzhan-phyogs dang mi-’dod-pa’i-gnas la zhesdang gis srog-bcod-pa dang ma-byin-pa-len-pa la-sogs-pa’i sdig-pa rnam-pa mi-’draba du-ma byas shing bsags na
inserted root text: stanza 39

nyin mtshan sdod-pa yong-med-par / tshe-’di rtag-tu god-’gyur zhing / snon-pa gud-nas ’ong-med na / bdag lta ’chi-bar cis-mi-’gyur /
[256] dus da-lta-nyid-du ma bshags na tshe ni snon-med ’grib-pa dang bcas-pas ltag-chu

chad-pas rdzing-bu bzhin-du nyin-mo dang mtshan-mo dus-skad-cig snga-phyi rimgyis ’ong nas tshe-’dzad-pa las dus-skad-cig-ma-tsam-du-yang tshe mi ’dzad-par sdod-pa yi go-skabs yong-ye-med-par tshe ’di dus-rtag-tu god ces ’grib-par-’gyur zhing sman-pa’i-rgyal-po dngos-su byon gyur kyang / tshe-yi-’phen-zad srog la mthud-du-med / ces gsungs-pa ltar tshe la snon-pa gud nas te gzhan-zhig-nas ’ongba med na ’khor-ba’i-sems-can bdag dang bdag lta-bu nges-par-’chi-bar cis mi ’gyur te nges-par ’chi-bar-’gyur-bas sdig-pa-bshags-pa la ’bad-par-bya dgos te /
[257] mi-rtag-pa’i-gtam las /

ltag-chu bcad-pa’i rdzing bzhin-du // snon-med ’grib-pa dang bcas-pas // kun kyang ’chi-ba’i lam-zhugs na // glo-bur tshe la su yid-brtan // zhes-pa ltar ro //
inserted root text: stanza 40

bdag ni mal na 'dug bzhin-du / gnyen-bshes kun gyis mtha’-bskor kyang / srog-’chad-pa yi tshor-ba dag / bdag-nyid gcig-pus myong-bar-’gyur /

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

117

[255] If one condenses the meaning of (all) that (has been explained above): “Thus, I am

ephemeral, someone who will quickly cease to be, just like a seasonal bee or a guest, not knowing where I previously came from and where I will now go.” As I did not realize or understand (this transient condition), I committed and accumulated many different forms of negative deeds, such as killing, stealing and the like, out of ignorance, firmly believing in permanence and being ignorant about what to do and what to avoid, out of attachment to my own group and to what I wanted, and out of aversion to other groups and what I did not want.
inserted root text: stanza 39

Remaining neither day nor night, This life is constantly slipping away. And since (life) is never getting any longer, Why would death not come to one like me?
[256] If I do not confess (all this) right now, (there will not be much time left) as my life is not

getting longer but shorter. Just like a pond cut off from its water supply, life is dwindling day and night, from moment to moment, and never—not even for one single moment—by any chance remaining and not dwindling. “This life is constantly slipping away” means it is decreasing, and even if the king of all physicians, (the Medicine Buddha), would appear in person, he would say, “Once the (karmic) thrust of a lifespan is exhausted, life cannot be prolonged.” Since life is never getting any longer but only shorter, why would death not certainly come to a saṃsāric being such as myself, one like me? (Therefore,) as I will certainly die, I should endeavor to confess my negative deeds.
[257] The Anityārtha-parikathā states:

Just like a pond cut off from its water supply Will not increase but only decrease, Since we all have entered the path toward death, Who would place his trust in this fleeting life?
inserted root text: stanza 40

While I am lying in bed, Even though (I am) surrounded by my friends and relatives, I alone will experience The feeling of life being severed.

118

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[258] de-ltar tshe-zad nas ’chi tshe bdag ni mal-sa’i-tha-ma na nyal nas ’dug bzhin-du

gnyen nye-ba pha-ma spun-sring bshes-grogs dga’-mdza’ dang sman-pa la-sogs-pa kun gyis mtha’ thams-cad bskor zhing rang ’chir-’jug thub-pa lta-bu’i sdug-bsngal gyis gdung bzhin-du bsrung-bar-byas kyang phan-pa-med-par srog-’chad-pa yi gnad-gcod-kyi-sdug-sngal bzod-par-dka’-ba’i tshor-ba drag-po dag sus-kyang mi lenpar bdag rang-nyid gcig-pus nyams-su-myong-bar-’gyur zhing
inserted root text: stanza 41

gshin-rje’i-pho-nyas zin-pa la / gnyen gyis ci-phan bshes ci-phan / de-tshe bsod-nams gcig skyabs na / de-yang bdag gis ma bsten to /
[259] thim-rim-dus las-ngan ’khrul-pa’i rang-gzugs su rung-ba’i gshin-rje’i-pho-nyas

mngon-sum-du zin te zhags-nag gis ske-bcings nas rang gcig-pur tho-bas-brdung-ba la-sogs-pa’i sdug-bsngal gtad bzhin khrid-pa la pha-ma bu-tsha sogs nye-ba gnyen gyis ci-zhig phan zhing grogs dga’-mdza’i bshes rnams kyis kyang ci-zhig phan te sus-kyang skyob-par mi nus kyi // dus-de-yi-tshe bsod-nams dge-ba zhig bsags shing ’grub yod na de-nyid gcig-pu kho-na skyabs kyi mchog-tu-’gyur-ba yin-nayang de-yang bdag gis sngar ma bsten to zhes sngar ma bsags-pas da ni ci-byar-yod de
inserted root text: stanza 42

mgon-po bag-med bdag gis ni / ’jigs-pa ’di-’dra ma ’tshal nas / mi-rtag tshe-’di’i-ched-dag-tu / sdig-pa mang-po nye-bar-bsgrubs /
[260] thugs snying-rje-chen-po dang ldan-pa rgyal-ba sras-bcas la mgon-po zhes sdug-

bsngal gyis ’o-dod-bos te blang-dor la rmongs shing rgyu-’bras-yid-ches-pa’i-dad-pa med pas sgo-gsum bag-med kyi dbang-du-songs-ba las-ngan-po bdag gis ni ’chi-khagnad-gcod-kyi-’jigs-pa / shi nas bar-do’i-’jigs-pa phyi ma ngan-song-gi-’jigs-pa ’di’dra yod-pa ma ’tshal te ma shes nas mi-rtag-pa snying-po-med-pa tshe ’di’i dgra-’dul gnyen-skyong zas nor longs-spyod kyi ched-dag-tu srog-gcod-pa la-sogs-pa’i sdig-pa mang-po nye-bar-bsags shing bsgrub na

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

119

[258] In this way, as my life is running out and I am dying, while I am lying down and

resting in my deathbed, even though I am completely surrounded by all my intimate relatives, father, mother, brothers and sisters, friends and helpers, loved ones, doctors and others, and (though) they (try) to protect me, tormenting themselves with suffering, as if they could die instead of me, it is of no avail. I alone will experience the intense feeling, which no one wants, which is hard to endure, the suffering of life being severed, of being cut off from life.
inserted root text: stanza 41

When captured by the messengers of the Lord of Death, What benefit will relatives afford? What benefit will friends afford? At that time (my) merit should protect me, But upon that I have never relied.
[259] At the time (when my elements) successively dissolve, when I am actually being

captured by the messengers of the Lord of Death, the frightening and deluded manifestations of my bad karma, they will lead me away while making me suffer by binding me with black ropes around my waist, beating me alone with hammers, and so on. What benefit will close relatives such as parents, children and grandchildren afford? What benefit will friends such as helpers, loved ones and intimate ones afford? None of them will be able to protect me. At that time, if I have gathered or accomplished merit or virtue, then that alone should protect me the best. “But upon that I have never relied before.” That is to say “because I did not accumulate (merit) previously, what can I do now?”
inserted root text: stanza 42

Protectors! I, so heedless, Unaware of such terror as this, Committed many a negative deed For the sake of this transient life.
[260] Lamenting in misery I cry out, “Protectors” those endowed with great compassion, to

the victors and their sons. I was ignorant about what to do and what to avoid and had no faith of conviction in (the law of) cause and effect. Being so heedless with the three gates, I, due to my bad karma, unaware, meaning ignorant, of the existence of such things as the fear of being severed from life at the moment of death, the horrors of the intermediate state after death, and the terrors of the lower realms in the next life, accumulated and committed many a negative deed by killing and so forth for the sake of riches, defeating enemies, and protecting relatives in this transient and meaningless life.

120

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

inserted root text: stanza 43

skye-po yan-lag-gcod-pa’i-sar / de-ring khrid-pa’ang bred-’gyur te / kha-skam mig-rtsa-ngan la-sogs / snga-las-gzhan-du-’gyur snang na /
[261] ’chi-ba’i tshe shin-tu sdug-bsngal gyis gzir zhing nyams-thag-par-’gyur te / dper-na

rgyal-po’i chad-pa-phog-pa la shin-tu nyes-can-gyi-skye-bo mi ’ga’-zhig rkang-lag sogs yan-lag tsam gcod-pa’i-sar skal-ba mnyam-pa’i mi rnams kyis de-ring lta-bur khrid-pa’ang shin-tu ’jigs shing skrag nas bred-par-’gyur te kha-gdang zhing skamspa dang mig-rtsa-ngan-pa sngo-cer-re mgo-’phang-dma’-ba la-sogs-pa snga las te sngar-gyi-mi de ma yin-pa lta-bu gzhan-du-’gyur te shin-tu nyams-thag-par snang na /
inserted root text: stanaz 44

gshin-rje’i-pho-nya ’jigs-’jigs lta’i / sha-tshugs-can gyis bzung-gyur cing / ’jigs-chen nad-kyis-thebs-gyur pa / rab-tu nyam-thag smos-ci-dgos /
[262] las-ngan ’khrul-pa’i rang-gzugs gshing-rje’i-pho-nya las-mkhan ma-rung-ba rnams ni

mi las bdun-’gyur las che-ba gcer-bu skra spyi-bor gzengs-pa mig gru-gsum shel-mig ltar bgrad-pa ang-gtsigs bsdam zhing so-zho-ngoms te bshugs-pa’i ’thor-rlung drag-tu ’bud-pa rgyud khro zhing gtum-pa lcags-kyu dang zhags-pa tho-ba dang dgra-stva lasogs-pa thogs-pa srin-po ltar rab-tu ’jigs-‘jigs lta’i ste ’jigs-’jigs lta-bur gyur-pa’i khrognyer dang sha-tshugs sna-tshogs-can gyis bzung ste zhags-pas bcing nas rang-nyid gcig-pur tshe-phyi-mar khrid-par-gyur cing

[263] dmyal-ba’i-snang-ba lcags-bsreg-gi-thang la-sogs-par nyams-nga-bar ’jigs-pa’i-mun-

nag gis mdun-nas-bsus / las-kyi-rlung-dmar gyis rgyab-nas-ded de gshing-rje’i-lasmkhan rnams kyis rgyob-rgyob dang sod-sod chod-chod kyis sgra-chen-po-sgrogs bzhin-du lcags-kyus-bzung / tho-bas brdeg rkang-lag gcod-pa la-sogs-pa’i ’jigs-pa chen-po’i nad-drag-po rnams kyis thebs-par-gyur-pa de-yi-tshe rab-tu-bred cing sdug-bsngal gyis nyams-thag-par-’gyur-pa smos-kyang-ci-dgos /

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

121

inserted root text: stanza 43

If those people, who are led today To the place where their limbs will be amputated, are petrified, With parched mouths (and) glazed eyes, Appearing different than before,
[261] Therefore, when I die I will be miserable, tormented by extreme suffering. For

instance, if those few humans who are sentenced to the king’s punishment, people (accused) of severe wrongdoing, who are led today by their fellow humans to the place where their limbs, their hands and feet, will be amputated, are petrified, extremely horrified and frightened, with their mouths gaping and parched, with glazed eyes cyanic blue, their heads kept down and so forth, appearing very miserable and different than before, no longer the same people as they once were …
inserted root text: stanza 44

Then needless to mention (my) tremendous despair When taken by the physical forms Of the fearsome looking messengers of the Lord of Death, When (I am thus) stricken with the disease of great panic.
[262] (then, when I am) taken by the individual and deluded manifestations of my own

negative karma, the various physical forms of the wild messengers and henchmen of the Lord of Death, who—seven times taller than human beings, naked, their hair standing on end, their triangular eyes staring like glass eyes, pressing their upper teeth on their lower lips and baring their upper teeth, blowing a strong, whistling whirlwind, their minds angry and fierce, carrying iron hooks, ropes, hammers, hatchets and the like, and who are most fearsome looking like demons, meaning (with) angry grimaces which are similarly frightful looking—tie me up with ropes and lead me alone to my next life;

[263] when from before me, I, the miserable one,38 am met by a terrifying darkness, the

visions of hell such as plains of melted iron and the like; when from behind, I am driven by the red wind of karma, while the henchmen of the Lord of Death shout with powerful voices, “Hit, hit, kill, kill, cut, cut!”; when (I am thus) stricken with the ferocious disease of great panic as they clasp me with iron hooks, beat me with hammers, cut off my arms and legs and so forth, then needless even to mention that I will at that moment be tremendously petrified and in despair.

38 Feeling ‘miserable’ [nyams nga ba] or depressed [skyo bo] is the mental sensation [sems kyi

tshor ba] of those who experience the intermediate state.

122

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

inserted root text: stanza 45

su-zhig ’jigs-chen ’di las bdag / legs-par skyob-par-byed-’gyur zhes / bred-sha-thon-pa’i mig-bgrad nas / phyogs-bzhir skyabs dag tshol-bar-byed /
[264] dus-de’i-tshe bla-ma lha-rje sogs snying-rje-can su-zhig gis ’chi-kha-gnad-gcod dang

gshin-rje’i-las-mkhan la-sogs-pa’i ’jigs-pa chen-po ’di rnams las nyams-thag bdag legs-par-skyob-par-byed-par-’gyur zhes smra zhing shin-tu skrag nas bred-sha-thonpa’i ste skyi-bung zhes mgo-lpags kun ltag-par-bsdus te mig-sngo-cer-re gcer zhing zum-du-med par bgrad nas kha shar la-sogs-pa’i phyogs-bzhir ltas te skyabs-mkhan gzhan-dag ’tshol-bar-byed la
inserted root text: stanza 46

phyogs-bzhir skyabs-med mthong nas ni / de-nas kun-tu yi-mug-’gyur / gnas der skyabs yod-ma-yin na / de-tshe bdag gis ji-ltar bya /
[265] de-ltar nan-tan-gyis phyogs-bzhir btsal yang rang-byas-kyi-las-ngan myong-ba la

sangs-rgyas kyi skyob-par mi nus-par lhas-sbyin gyis go’u-ta-ma tshig-thal tshig-thal zhes smre-sngags-’don bzhin-du dmyal-bar skyes-pa lta-bu yin-pas na skyabs-mkhan gcig-kyang-med-par mthong nas ni / de-nas skyabs ma rnyed-pas kun-tu yi-mugpar-’gyur te

[266] skye dka’-ba lho-rgyal-’dzam-bu-gling du skyes / thob dka’-ba’i dal-’byor-gyi-mi-lus

thob / mjal-bar dka’-ba’i bla-ma dam-pa dang mjal / ’phrad-par dka’-ba’i dam-pa’ichos dang ’phrad de blang-dor-gyi-gnas cung-zad shes-par-gyur kyang / kye-ma-kyehud las-ngan skal-chad-po bdag gis dge-ba ni ma ’grub / sdig-pa ni rgya-chen-po byas / da ni skyabs-bral zhing mgon-med-pas ’chi thag-chod cing ngan-song du ’gro rgyu las mi ’dug snyam du sngar-byas kyi sdig-pa dran te brang-sen-rjes-kyis-bkang ste gdong-sngo-lam-me mig-mchi-ma-khra-thar-re dbugs-’dar zhing mgo rkang-lag g.yo-ba bzhin tshe-pha-rol du ’gro zhing sdug-bsngal-bar-’gyur te /

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

123

inserted root text: stanza 45

Who can really protect me From this great horror? With eyes gaping in an expression of terror I will search the four quarters for refuge.
[264] At that time, in intense fear, I will ask, “Who is the compassionate one among the

teachers, physicians, and others who can really protect me, a miserable person, from this great horror of my life being severed at the moment of death, (from) the henchmen of the Lord of Death, and so forth?” With eyes gaping, staring glazed over in cyanic blue and impossible to close, in an expression of terror so that the skin of my skull is gathered at the back of my head, I will look around in the four quarters such as east and will search for someone who can grant me refuge.
inserted root text: stanza 46

Seeing no refuge in the four quarters I will become completely depressed. If there is no refuge on that occasion, Then what should I do at that time?
[265] Although I search eagerly in the four quarters, I must endure the bad karma that I

have myself created, just as Devadatta uttered lamentations, saying, “Gautama! I burn, I am ablaze,” when he took rebirth in hell and even the Buddha could not protect him. Therefore, seeing no one who can grant refuge, not finding any refuge, I will become completely depressed. where it is difficult to take rebirth. I have obtained a human body endowed with the freedoms and advantages, which is difficult to obtain. I have found a sublime master, which is difficult to find. I have met the sublime dharma, which is difficult to meet. I even gained a little understanding of what to do and what to avoid. But alas, I, the unfortunate person of bad karma, did not practice virtue but committed great negativity. Now I am without a refuge and without a protector. As I am certain to die, I have nowhere else to go but to the lower realms.” Thinking this, I remember the negative deeds that I committed previously. My chest covered with scratches, my face bright blue, tears pouring from my eyes, my breath shaky and my head, legs and arms trembling, I will go to the next life and suffer.

[266] “I have taken rebirth in Jambudvīpa, (the domain of the) Southern King (Virūḍhaka),

124 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [267] rgyal-po-gdams-pa’i-mdo las / ’gro-ba gzhan-du ni ’gro // mal-gyi-tha-mar ni nyal // srog ni cung-zad-gcig lus // gshin-rje’i-skyes-bus ni ’jigs shing skrag // byur gyi dbang-du-ni-song // dbugs-kyi-’gyu-ba ni ’chad / kha dang sna ni gdangs / so ni gtsigs / pha-ma dang phu-nu dang sring-mo dang bu dang bu-mos ni bskor / nor rnams bgo-bsha’-bya zhes ni zer / kye-hud-pha kyi-hud-ma kyi-hud-bu zhes zer na chos ma-gtogs-pa skyabs gzhan-med / mgon gzhan-med / gnas gzhan-med / dpunggnyen gzhan-med / rgyal-po chen-po de’i-tshe de’i-dus-na chos ni gling dang gnas dang mgon dang ston-par-’gyur ro zhes gsungs pa ltar ro // [268] de-ltar ’chi-ba’i gnas-skabs der dam-pa’i-chos dge-ba ma-gtogs-pa skyabs gzhan gcig- kyang yod-pa ma yin na de-tshe las-ngan-po bdag gis ji-ltar bya ste ci-yang byathabs-med-pas shin-tu sdug-bsngal gyis gdung zhing nyams-thag-par-’gyur ro // rten-tu-byed-pa gnyis las ’dir phyi-ma ste / inserted root text: stanza 47 [269] gnyis-pa rten-gyi-stobs ni / rten-gyi-stobs zhes bshags-yul-du-byed-pa dang / dag- de-bas rgyal-ba ’gro-ba’i-mgon / ’gro-ba skyob-pa’i don-brtson-pa / stobs-chen ’jigs-pa kun sel la / de-ring-nyid-nas skyabs-su-mchi / [270] de-ltar ’chi zhing las-ngan ’khrul-pa’i rang-gzugs gshin-rje’i-bsu-ma-sleb-pa na skrag nas da-gzod skyabs-’tshol kyang mi rnyed-par de-lta-bas-na rgyal-ba rdzogs-pa’isangs-rgyas ’gro-ba ma-lus-pa’i mgon-po nam-mkha’ dang mnyam-pa’i ’gro-ba semscan thams-cad sdug-bsngal mtha’-dag las skyob-pa’i don-du dang-po byang-chubmchog-tu-thugs-bskyed-pa nas gzhan-don ’ba’-zhig la brtson-pa mthar-phyin-pa’i stobs-bcu’i-dbang-phyug-chen-po sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das te [271] de la de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i stobs kyi rnam-grangs la yab dang yum las byung-ba’i stobs dang / rdzu-’phrul gyi dang / ye-shes-kyi-stobs la-sogs-pa mang-du gsungs-pa las / yab-dang-yum-las-byung-ba’i-stobs ni de-bzhin-gshegs-pa’i phyag-zhabs sogs kyi tshig bar re na sred-med-bu’i-stobs brgya’am lnga-brgya re yod-par mdo las gsungs shing / .

and no support. The sūtras explain that the power he inherited from his father and mother is such that in each tendon of his arms and legs he has one hundred or five hundred times the strength of Nārāyaṇa. there is no refuge. Therefore. the one with bad karma. equal to the reaches of space. the protector of beings. Children!” you (know) that. since the Victor. from today onward I go for refuge To the Victor. his magical powers. Who strives to shelter all beings And with great power eradicates all fear. he strives exclusively for the benefit of others and is the great sovereign of the ultimate ten powers. no protector. Your mouth and nose are open. sentient beings. inserted root text: stanza 47 Therefore. the Bhagavān. the perfect Buddha.39 39 Nārāyaṇa [sred med bu] is an epithet for Viṣṇu [khyab ’jug]. and it can function as the object of purification. Mother!” or “Alas.” sublime dharma. [270] Once I have thus died and the invitation of the Lord of Death—the personification of my deluded bad karma—has arrived. from limitless suffering. sons and daughters will surround you and say. at that time the dharma becomes an island. “Alas. the Buddha. you are horrified and frightened by the henchmen of the Lord of Death and you have (already) fallen under the power of despair. do? As there is nothing at all that can be done. no resort. Your parents. That which is called the power of support can function as the object of confession. if on that occasion of death there is no single refuge other than virtue. “Let’s divide his wealth!” When they say.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 125 [267] As it is said in the Rājāvavādaka-sūtra: “(All) beings (eventually) have to die. his wisdom powers and so on. The power of support [268] Thus. the [269] Second. sisters. first developed supreme bodhicitta in order to shelter all beings. and you press your teeth together. The (gross) movement of your breath has ceased. elder and younger brothers. then at that time what should I. [271] Much can be said about the enumeration of the Tathāgata’s powers such as the strength he inherited from his father and mother. a resort. even if at that point [da bzod] I search for a refuge. the protector of all beings. I will not find one. a protector and a teacher. Of these two (what is explained) here it is the latter. Great King. Father! Alas. the power of support. I will be tormented by suffering and will be miserable. besides the dharma. . Lying on your deathbed and with a little bit of life remaining.

126 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [272] rdo-’phan-pa’i-mdo las / de-bzhin-gshegs-pa ku-shi’i-grong-khyer du byon-pa na yul de’i gyad lnga-brgya re-re la ’khor lnga-brgya re dang ldan-pas lam phyags-dar sogs byed-pa na de-dag gis gzhan-du ’phan-par ma theg-pa’i rdo-pha-vang chen-po debzhin-gshegs-pa’i zhabs g.yas-pa’i mthe-bong gis phyung ste phyag gis nam-mkhar ’phang-ba yab-dang-yum-las-byung-ba’i-stobs dang / rdzu-’phrul gyis de rdul-phrandu-byas nas phyogs thams-cad du gtor-ba dang / de-ltar gyur-pa la gyad rnams mi dga’-bar-gyur-pa la rdul-phran rnams slar-bsdus te snga-ma-bzhin-du mdzad nas gnas dben-par bzhag-par-mdzad-pa bsgom-pa’am ye-shes-kyi-stobs zhes-bya-bar gsungs / [273] khyad-par sems-can thams-cad skyob-pa’i-stobs dngos ni / ji-skad-du / gnas-dang-gnas-min rnam-smin dbang-po dang // khams dang mos-pa-sna-tshogs kun-’gro’i-lam // bsam-gtan sngon-gnas-rjes-dran lha-yi-mig // zag-zad mkhyen pa’i-stobs dang bcu yin no // zhes gsung-pa ltar [274] mkhyen-pa’i-stobs-bcu mnga’-bas dam-pa’i-chos yang-dag-par ston-par-mdzad-pa’i sangs-rgyas dang / de’i bka’-bzhin rang gis bsgrub na ’khor-ba dang ngan-song lasogs-pa’i sdug-bsngal gyi ‘jigs-pa ma-lus kun sel-bar-mdzad-pa de la / blang-dor la rmongs-pa’i skye-po mdo-shor rnams kyis ni tshe-gang sdig-pa mi-dge-ba ’ba’-zhig byas-byas nas sang ’chi tshe ’jigs-skrag gis ci-bya-med-par skyabs-’tshol-bar-byed kyang phan-par dka’ zhing ’phyi-bar-gyur-pa de-dag gi lad-mo mi byed-par bdag gis ni dus-de-ring-nas nang-snga-mo chos thos na snga-mo // nyin-gung chos thos na nying-gung / dgongs-mo chos thos na dgongs-mo nyin-nas-bzung ste byang-chubsyning-po la mchis-kyi-bar-du sangs-rgyas la ston-pa’i-tshul-du skyabs-su-mchi’o zhes bsam dgos te / inserted root text: stanza 48 de yi thugs-su-chud-pa’i chos / ’khor-ba’i-’jigs-pa sel-ba dang / byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs la yang / de-bzhin yang-dag skyabs-su-mchi / [275] chos la thos-bsam-bsgom-gsum ’dres-mar-byed dgos te / chos-’chad-pa’i dus lta-bu yin kyang tshig-sgros-snyan-snyan mi byed-par don sems-pa’i zhor la bshad na bsgom yang de yin gsungs // .

ten in all. from noon onward. (5) the various inclinations. from today onward—if I hear the dharma in the morning. . If one practices according to his instructions. the Buddha can teach the sublime dharma in a perfect way. Superficial people. the lower realms and so forth. five hundred Mallas from that area. contemplation and meditation. reconstituted (the boulder) as it was before. This is the strength that he inherited from his father and mother. (his dharma) eradicates all fear of suffering such as saṃsāra. Which clears away the fears of saṃsāra. (6) the different paths. one should alternate between study. [273] In particular. one should think. from morning onward. [274] Being endowed with the ten powers of knowledge. When they die tomorrow in horror and fear.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 127 [272] The Śilākṣipta-sūtra recounts that once when the Tathāgata went to the city of Kuśinagara. until I attain the essence of enlightenment. Since the strong men did not like (the boulder) being thus transformed. were sweeping the road. his actual power to shelter all living beings is (explained) like this: The power of (1) knowing what is accurate and what is inaccurate. and if I hear the dharma in the evening. [275] With regard to the dharma. (8) recollecting former existences. ignorant about what to do and what to avoid. from evening onward. even though the words may not be eloquent. inserted root text: stanza 48 To the dharma he has realized. “I go for refuge to the Buddha as the teacher. (9) the divine eye And (10) the exhaustion of defilements. commit only negative deeds and non-virtuous actions for their entire lives. if one teaches while focusing at the same time on the meaning. Moreover. This is said to be the power of his meditation. (7) Concentration. when one (as a teacher) is expounding the dharma. or of his wisdom. it will be difficult to benefit them since it is too late. With his magical power he reduced (the boulder) to particles of dust and scattered them in all directions. and placed it at a remote location. (4) The dispositions. (3) the faculties. And also to the assembly of bodhisattvas. throwing it into the air with his hand. each with an entourage of five hundred (men). (2) the ripening of karma. even if they search for a refuge. Without imitating these (people). this is also said to be meditation. With the big toe of his right foot the Tathāgata raised a great boulder that they could not lift and throw elsewhere. I genuinely go for refuge in the same manner. (the Tathāgata) gathered the dust particles. they will not know what to do. if I hear the dharma at noon.

ba / spyan-ras-gzigs-mgon de la yang / nyam-thag nga-ros ’o-dod-’bod / sdig-ldan bdag la bskyab-tu-gsol / .128 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [276] sangs-rgyas de yis slob-lam du bskal-pa grangs-med mang-por bsod-nams dang ye- shes kyi tshogs-gnyis bsags nas mthar byang-chub-gyi-shing-gi-dbang-po’i drung-du rnam-pa-thams-cad-mkhyen-pa’i-ye-shes brnyes-pa’i tshe / zab zhi spros-bral ’od-gsal ’dus-ma-byas // bdud-rtsi lta-bu’i chos zhig bdag gis brnyes // zhes gsungs-pa ltar / [277] zab-pa dang rgya-che-ba’i chos thams-cad thugs-su-chud-pa’am mkhyen-pa’i chos gang-zhig nyams-su-blangs-pa las ’khor-ba’i-’jigs-pa ma-lus-pa sel-ba’am zhi-barbyed-pa’i lung-dang-rtogs-pa’i-chos la lam-gyi-tshul-du de-ring-nyid-nas skyabs-sumchi-ba dang / byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-tshogs ’phags-pa phyir-mi-ldog-pa’i dge’dun la yang de-bzhin-du de-ring-nyid-nas grogs-kyi-tshul-du yang-dag-par te g.yosgyu dang the-tshom-med-par skyabs-su-mchi’o // inserted root text: stanza 49 bdag ni ’jigs-pas rnam-skrag nas / kun-tu-bzang la bdag-nyid ’bul / ’jam-pa’i-dbyangs la’ang bdag-nyid kyis / bdag gi lus ’di dbul-bar-bgyi / [278] bdag ni ’chi-kha’i-’jigs-pa dang / shi nas bar-do’i-’jigs-pa dang / phyi-ma ’khor-ba dang ngan-song-gi-’jigs-pas rnam-par-skrag nas rgyal-ba kun gyi sras-kyi-thu-bo ’phags-mchog kun-tu-bzang-po zhes ’o-dod-bos te khyed la bdag rang-nyid kyi lus longs-spyod thams-cad ’bul-ba yin no zhes ’bod dgos kyi gzhan-du ’jigs-skrag-medpar ’o-dod-kyis-bos na rgyal-ba sras-bcas la rdzun-du-smras-pa dang / de-dag gi thugs kyang khrel-bar-’gyur ro gsungs / de-bzhin-du rgyal-kun-yab-gcig mgon-po ’jam-pa’i-dbyangs la’ang gzhan gyis ma bskul-bar bdag rang-nyid kyis bdag gi lus ’di dbul-bar-bgyi’o // inserted root text: stanza 50 thugs-rje’i-spyod-pa ma-’khrul.

I Offer myself to Samantabhadra. go for refuge to the noble saṃgha of non-returners. in the same manner I genuinely. while still on the path of learning. offer this body of mine. peaceful. the fear of the moment of death. without being requested by others. I go for refuge to the dharma of statements and realization which. “I offer myself. and the fear of falling into saṃsāra and the lower realms in the next life. as my path. To Mañjughoṣa as well I myself offer this body of mine. clears away or pacifies all the fears of saṃsāra. Likewise. to you. it is said that if one cries out in lamentation without being in fear. and their minds would be disappointed. I myself. senior son of all the victors. inserted root text: stanza 50 Also to the protector Avalokita. gathered the accumulations of merit and wisdom for many countless eons and finally. Whose compassionate conduct is without delusion. the wicked one. “Please grant me. protection!” . inserted root text: 49 Utterly panicking with fear.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 129 [276] Buddha. this would be like lying to the victors and their sons. after he attained the wisdom of omniscience beneath the Bodhi Tree. noble and supreme one. one calls out. my own body and all my riches. free from complexity. [277] From today onward. that is to say with no deceit or doubt. [278] Utterly panicking with fear. as my companions.” On the other hand. however. the fear of the intermediate state after death. And also from today onward. sole father of all the victors. luminous and uncompounded. the assembly of bodhisattvas. to the protector Mañjughoṣa as well. “Samantabhadra.” and should cry. he spoke (in the Lalita-vistara-sūtra): I have found a nectar-like dharma Which is profound. I let out a lamentation of mournful crying. when practiced. whatever dharma he (the Buddha) has realized or understood from among all the profound and vast dharmas.

yo-sgyu ma yin-par kha-tsam-min-par snying-khungrus-pa’i-gting-nas spyir ’khor-ba dang ngan-song-gi-’jigs -pa dang / dgos thag-nyebar ’chi-ba dang bar-do’i-’jigs-pa la skrag nas sdug-bsngal gyis gzir zhing shin-tu nyams-thag-pa’i dbang gis skad byung-ba’i gdangs-mthon-pa’i ngo-ros ’o-dod dragpos ’bod-pa ste pho-chen-po btab ste ’phags-pa thugs-rje-chen-po zhes bos te / [281] sdig-ldan bdag la zhes spyir lus dang ngag dang khyad-par-du yid kyi dang de-bas- kyang / ji-skad-du / rnam-rtog ma-rig-pa gdon-chen te / ’khor-ba’i rgya-mtshor ltung-byed yin // zhes gsungs-pa ltar / [282] las-ngan thams-cad rnam-rtog las byung / rnam-rtog thams-cad nga dang nga-yir bdag dang gzhan du ’dzin-pa’i bdag-’dzin las byung / bdag-’dzin ma-rig-pa yin-pas dus-dang-rnam-pa-thams-cad-du chos-’chad dam nyan nam ’don-bsgom la-sogs-pa thams-cad la sems skad-cig-tsam-yang gtad rgyu med-par chags-sdang la-sogs-pa’i rtog-ngan gyi rjes-su-’brang nas ’khrul-pa rgya-’byams-su-song ste las-ngan bsags nas ’khor-ba mtha’-med du ngan-gsum la-sogs-par ’gro-ba’i sdig-ldan yin-pa la yin-parkhas-blangs nas las-ngan-po bdag skyab-tu-gsol-lo / inserted root text: stanza 51 ’phags-pa nam-mkha’i-snying-po la / sa-yi-snying-po dag dang ni / thugs-rje-che-mgon thams-cad la / skyabs-tshol snying-nas ’o-dod-’bod / .130 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [279] ’phags-pa thugs-rje-chen-po ni sangs-rgyas rin-chen-snying-po’i mdun-du thugs- bskyed-pa nas bzung ste mtha’-yas-pa’i sems-can la thugs-rjes te thugs snying-rjechen-po dang ldan-pas rang-’dod-kyi-‘khri-ba spu-rtse-tsam-yang-med-par gzhandon kho-na byed-pas nang-gi-yon-tan snying-rje dang phyi’i-spyod-pa ma-’khrul-ba ste mi-’gal-bar mdzad-pas [280] dus-dang-rnam-pa-thams-cad-du sems-can thams-cad la spyan-mi-zum-par-gzigs-pas na don dang mthun-pa’i mtshan yang mig-mi-’dzum-pa’am spyan-ras-gzigs mgonpo de la yang yid-ches phyir-mi-ldog-pa’i-dad-pas gdung-shugs kyis nyams-mi-thag kyang nyams-thag-thag-gis g.

with trusting and irreversible faith. but from the depth of my heart. crying out in lamentation from my heart. “Noble and Great Compassionate One. Therefore. being frightened in general by the horrors of saṃsāra and the lower realms. in all (situations) such as when expounding the dharma. Avalokita. . his inner quality of compassion and his outer conduct are without delusion. the wicked one’. in intense longing. and In all protectors of great compassion I seek refuge. [280] Because he gazes without closing his eyes at all times and circumstances. even his name accords with his intention: ‘the one who never closes his eyes’ or the protector. he works exclusively for the benefit of others. at all times and in all circumstances. meaning letting out a great wail. Ego-clinging is ignorance. ‘mine’. [282] All evil karma springs from thoughts. one is destined to endless saṃsāra in the lower realms. Having accumulated bad karma. ‘I’ and ‘other’. and in particular by the closeness of death and the horrors of the intermediate state. Therefore. Also to him. listening (to the dharma). and not as mere lip-service. being tormented by suffering and utterly mournful. one cannot even focus one’s mind for a second. In Kṣitigarbha. that is to say being endowed with great compassion in his heart. without the slightest trace of attachment to self-centered interests. but instead follows negative thoughts such as aversion and attachment and thus falls into perpetual delusion. compassionately for infinite sentient beings. as it is said: The great demon of thoughts and ignorance Drowns us in the ocean of saṃsāra.” [281] When it says. calling out. I let out a strong lamentation. and in particular. holding on to ‘me’. meaning he does not let them contradict (each other). this refers generally to (one’s negative deeds done with) body and speech. reciting (scriptures) or meditating. at all sentient beings. Acknowledging as it is the fact of being such a wicked one. All thoughts spring from ego-clinging. with a loud cry escaping from my voice. inserted root text: stanza 51 In the noble Ākāśagarbha. please grant me protection from my bad karma. ‘me.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 131 [279] As the Noble and Great Compassionate One developed bodhicitta in front of Buddha Ratna-garbha. not in a deceiving way like those who are not miserable but pretend to be miserable. Because of this. to (those done with) mind.

132 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [283] de-bzhin-du rang-re sdom-pa thams-cad ni blang zhing bsrung-bya ni ma bsung-ba’i gang-zag yin-pas nam-mkha’i-snying-po la phyag-mchod sogs kyis bsten-pa gal-che ste sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das kyis ’phags-pa nam-mkha’i-snying-po ni byang-sems las-dang-po ltung-ba byung-ba rnams kyi ’khar-ba lta-bu yin-par gsungs-pas na ’phags-pa nam-mkha’i-snying-po dang / nyon-mongs ’chol-nyog-tu spyod-pa’i btsun-gzugs las-dang-po-pa sogs gang phongs shing rgud-pa rnams la thugs lhag-parbrtse zhing skyob-par-mdzad-pa’i sa-yi-snying-po dag dang ni byams-pa dang sgribpa-rnam-sel la-sogs-pa phyogs-bcu’i-zhing na thugs-rje dang smon-lam sogs rgyache-ba’i mgon-po sa-bcu’i-dbang-phyug thams-cad la skyabs-’tshol zhing skyobsshig ces snying-thag-pa-nas mtshan-nas-brjod de ’o-dod-kyis-’bod-par-bya’o // inserted root text: stanza 52 gang-zhig mthong nas gshin-rje yi / pho-nya la-sogs sdang-ba rnams / skrag nas phyogs-bzhir ’byer-byed-pa / rdo-rje-can la skyabs-su-mchi / [284] gang-zhes spyi-sgra bye-brag la sbyar-ba dpal gsang-ba’i-bdag-po gang-zhig mthong- ba-tsam-nyid-nas gshin-rje-yi-pho-nya las-mkhan rnams dang bya dang khyi la-sogspa pha-bsad-kyi-lag-dmar ltar sdang-ba yi sems dang ldan zhing gnod-par-byed-pa rnams rab-tu-skrag nas phyogs-bzhir ’byer-ba’am ’bros-par-byed-pa phyag-na-rdorje-can la dad cing gus-pas skyabs-su-mchi’o // [285] de-yang thun-mong-gi-bshad-pa ltar-na dus-gsum-gyi-sangs-rgyas thams-cad kyis dang-po thugs-bskyed nas mngon-par-byang-chub ste chos-kyi-’khor-lo-bskor nas mya-ngan-las-ma-’das-kyi-bar-du dpal phyag-na-rdo-rjes rdo-rje-’bar-ba’i mtshon-cha bsnams nas rgyal-ba de-dag gi sku-gsung-thugs la nye-ba-’tshe-ba’i ma-rungs-pa thams-cad kyi mgo-’gem-par-mdzad cing mel-tshe-byed-pa ste / dper-na ’jig-rten-pa rnams kyis lhan-skyes-kyi-lha zhes-pa ltar mdzad de rjes-su-’brang-ba’o // .

then (it refers) to the glorious Guhyapati.40 The sight of whom frightens (all) hateful ones. the mere sight of whom utterly frightens (all) those who are harmful and whose minds are hateful—as if I were the red-handed killer of their fathers—such as the messengers and henchmen of the Lord of Death. the buddhas of the three times first developed bodhicitta. from the time when all 40 Vajrī [rdo rje can] means ‘having a vajra’ and refers to Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. 41 Guhyapati. holding a blazing vajra-weapon. . I call them by their names. speech and minds of these victors. since we [rang re] are persons who have taken all vows but have not kept them as we were supposed to. the ‘lord of secrets’ [gsang ba’i bdag po] is an epithet of Vajrapāṇi. acting like what worldly people call a birth divinity. and set the wheel of dharma in motion until the time they entered into nirvāṇa. And causes them to flee in terror to the four quarters. and (in) Kṣitigarbha. such as Maitreya and Nivārṇaviṣkambhīn. Such as the messengers of the Lord of Death. according to the general explanations (of the sūtras).41 With faith and devotion I go for refuge to Vajrapāṇi. the one who especially cares for and protects those who are destitute and troubled. the glorious Vajrapāṇi. said that the noble Ākāśagarbha is like a walking stick for novice bodhisattvas who have committed a (transgression leading to a) downfall. mere imitations of monks. like those beginners. He followed them. and in all sovereigns of the tenth (bodhisattva) level. guarded them by splitting the heads of all demonic ones who caused mischief to the body. and causes them to escape or to flee in utter terror to the four quarters. [284] If one assigns a particular (meaning) to the general term ‘whom’. attained complete enlightenment.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 133 [283] Likewise. saying “Protect me!” I seek refuge in the noble Ākāśagarbha. The Buddha. (wild) birds and dogs. it is important to rely on Ākāśagarbha through prostrations and offerings and the like. crying out in lamentation from the bottom of my heart. Therefore. who act out all kinds of afflictions. the Bhagavān. [285] Moreover. the protectors who are great in their compassion and aspirations. inserted root text: stanza 52 I go for refuge to Vajrī. (who dwell) in the buddha fields of the ten directions.

134 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [286] yang gsang-ba-pa zhes-pa gnod-sbyin yin la de’i bdag-po gnod-sbyin-lag-na-rdo-rje zhes-bya-ba’ang yin no // thun-min gsang-sngags ltar-na rgyal-ba thams-cad kyi thugs-rdo-rje’i-rang-gzugs sku-gsung-thugs-kyi-gsang-ba bsam-gyis-mi-khyab-pa’i bdag-por-dbang-bskur zhing dbang-rtags-kyi-rdo-rje phyag na bsnams-pas na deskad-do // [287] rang-re’i da-lta rgyal-sras rigs-gsum-mgon-po sogs rang gang-mos kyi yi-dam-gyi-lha gcig chog-ma-zhig med-thabs-gtan-nas-med-pas de’i dbang-zhus lha-bsgom sngagsbzlas te dus-nam-du mi-brjed-par ’jigs-skrag nam byung dang mtshan rmi-lam gyi dus-su dran thub-pa zhig dgos // de-ltar byung na sang ’chi tshe mdun-du-bsu-marbyon-’ong-ba’i snang-ba ’byung ngo gsungs // inserted root text: stanza 53 sngon-chad khyed kyi bka’-las-’das / da ni ’jigs-pa-che mthong nas / khyed la skyabs-su-mchi lags kyis / ’jigs-pa myur-du bsal-du-gsol / [288] las-ngan bdag ni sngon-chad rgyal-ba sras-bcas khyed rnams kyi bka’ dge-sdig- blang-dor las ’das-par-byas kyang da ni ’chi-kha dang bar-do phyi-ma ngan-song-gi’jigs-pa cher te chen-po mthong nas ’gyel-ba’i sar-’ju zhing brten nas ldang-ba ltar mgon-po thugs-rje-chen-po dang ldan-pa khyed rnams la skyabs-su-mchi-ba lags kyis sdig-pa mi-dge-ba’i ’bras-bu sdug-bsngal gyis ’jigs-pa de-dag myur-du bsal du gsol-ba-’debs-pa’o // [289] gsum-pa gnyen-po-kun-tu-spyod-pa’i-stobs ni / de la bag-yod dang shes-bzhin dang bzod-le rnams gtso-bo de-dang-de skyed-byed yin-pa ltar ’dir yang sdig-pa dag-byed kyi gnyen-po rang-rgyud la skyed-byed yin-pa’i phyir / las-rgyu-’bras dang tshe-mirtag-pa yang-yang bsgom ste rang-rgyud la sdig-pa ’dags-pa’i gnyen-po bskyed-pa’i blo med-pa rnams la de’i blo bskyed-pa dang / cung-zad yod kyang le-lo rnamg.yeng gis der mi sbyor-ba rnams la myur-du de la sbyor-ba’i phyir las-rgyu-’bras dang tshe-mi-rtag-pa yang-nas-yang-du bsgom ste .

supports himself and rises up again. introspection and patience and the development of these (topics). ignored the teaching of the victors and their sons. he is also called Yakṣa Vajrapāṇi. need to develop such a mind-set. he is called Guhyaka. coming to lead us. the power of the applied antidote: Though this (power) mainly (concerns what is taught in) the chapters on heedfulness. For this purpose they should contemplate again and again on karma. meditate on that deity. (but) who do not apply (the antidote) due to laziness and distraction. such as (one of) the Lords of the Three Families—is utterly indispensable (for the practice of Mahāyāna). then if we die tomorrow. the one with bad karma. and of the lower realms in the next life. the law of cause and effect. speech and mind. terror of the moment of death. “Please swiftly clear away these fears of suffering. I go for refuge to you. And because he holds in his hand a vajra as the sign of that empowerment. . I go for refuge to you.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 135 [286] Furthermore. Now. inserted root text: stanza 53 Previously. so that we are able to remember it at night in a dream or when fear arises. what to do and what to avoid. being a Yakṣa. sufficient meditation deity to whom we at present feel personally attracted—(any) son of the victors. he is empowered as the personification of the vajra-like mind of all the victors. For this one must repeatedly contemplate on karma. (ignored) virtue and negativity. must swiftly apply it. [288] Previously. meaning enormous. Please swiftly clear away (these) fears. being their lord. and on impermanence. of the intermediate state. the law of cause and effect. the one who holds a vajra in his hand). I ignored your teaching. But now. here (in stanzas 54-65) (the power of the applied antidote) concerns developing an antidote in one’s mind that purifies one’s negative deeds. [287] Since one single. I. And those who might even have (this mind-set to purify their negative deeds) to some extent. I supplicate. we must receive the respective empowerment. That is to say all who lack the mindset of developing an antidote to purify the negative deeds in their minds. protectors endowed with great compassion. (the deity) will appear in a vision. catching sight of great terror.” The power of the applied antidote [289] Third. It is said that if we have (such capacity). he is thus called (Vajrapāṇi. and recite the (respective) mantra. and on impermanence. just like someone who grips the ground he has fallen upon. the fruition of my negative deeds and non-virtuous actions. without ever forgetting (this meditation deity). as the lord of the inconceivable secrecy of their body. catching sight of the great. According to the extraordinary Secret Mantra (vehicle).

136 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [290] de’i blo skyes shing de sbyor-ba’i tshe dge-ba gang sgrub sbyor-ba sdig-pa bshags-pa’i ched-du bsam-pa dang / dngos-gzhi’i dus-su sdig-pa bshags-pa’i dran-’dun dang / rjes-su sdig-pa ’dags-pa’i ched-du bsngo-ba ste sbyor-dngos-rjes-gsum tshang na thams-cad sdig-bshags yin-pas gnyen-po yin la // [291] de-yang tshe-gang dben-par dge-ba-sgrub-par-byas kyang nyes-pa phran-bu-tsam byung-ba la’ang gnyen-pos ma bshags na de’i rnam-smin myong dgos te / dper-na nas mang-po’i nang-du sran-rdog gicg yod-pa sar-btab na nas mang-po skye yang srang-rdog de skye-ba la’ang mi gnod-par skye-ba ltar dge-ba-cher-byas kyang sdigpa’i gnyen-por-ma-dmigs-na des sdig-pa ’joms-par mi byed gsungs // [292] dge-ba-can yang phyi-ma ngan-song du mi skye-ba’i nges-pa-med de der skye-ba’i las rgyud la yod srid-pa’i phyir dang / khyad-par ’chi-kha’i-mtshams-sbyor la rag-las-pas na gang la mtshams-sbyor mi shes-pas sdig-pa bshags-pa’i gnyen-po la ’bad-pa ’di gal-che-bas ’di-ltar rgyu nyon-mongs la bsam ste gnyen-po la ’bad-pas bshags dgospa’i rgyu-mtshan nad kyi dpes-bstan-pa inserted root text: stanza 54 tha-mal nad kyis ’jigs na-yang / sman-pa’i-ngag-bzhin bya dgos na / ’dod-chags la-sogs nyes brgya yi / nad kyis rtag btab smos-ci-dgos / [293] rlung mkhris bad-kan ’dus-pa la-sogs-pa’i tha-mal gyi nad-kyis-thebs-pa la ’jigs na- yang sman-pa’i-ngag-bzhin-du sman-bsten zhing gtar-bsreg-phug-pa sogs bzod-parbya dgos na thog-ma-med-pa-nas ’dod-chags zhe-sdang gti-mug nga-rgyal la-sogspa’i nyes-pa brgya-phrag-mang-po yi nad kyis dus-rtag-tu btab-pa’i rang-re rnams kyis sman-pa-mchog rgyal-ba’i-bka’ ltar blang-dor ji-lta-ba bzhin byed dgos-pa smosci-dgos so // .

arrogance and so forth. Thus. when frightened because of infection by a common disease. [291] Furthermore. and one plants (the pea together with the barley grains) in the soil. ignorance. the main part and the concluding part are complete. such as wind. . For instance. the reason that confession is necessary is demonstrated through the example of disease: inserted root text: stanza 54 If I must comply with a physician’s advice When frightened by a common disease. if the preparatory part. unless one confesses with (such) an antidote when even a tiny misdeed occurs. everything serves as a confession of one’s negative deeds and. since (one’s next rebirth) depends on (one’s mind-set) on the verge of death. the motivation (to practice) in order to confess one’s negative deeds. burning. as an antidote. therefore. 42 Kunpal moves from the implied first person singular of the root text to first person plural. acupuncture and so forth. aversion. if there is a single pea among many barley (grains). and at the concluding part (this mind-set) is dedicating (one’s merit) in order to purify one’s negative deeds.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 137 [290] Once they have developed this mind-set and have applied it. the virtue (alone) will not annihilate one’s negative deeds. when since beginningless time (we have been) perpetually infected with hundreds of multifarious diseases of misdeeds such as desire. without focusing on the antidote for one’s negative deeds. if one does not know where to guide oneself. thinking about the causes (of suffering). bile. [293] If I must comply with a physician’s advice. Then no need to mention (that I must heed the Buddha) when perpetually infected With diseases of hundreds of misdeeds such as desire and so forth. rely on medicine. In the same way. At the time of the main part. the supreme physician. then there is no need to mention that we42 should follow exactly what should be done and what should be avoided according to the advice of the Victor. it is consequently of utmost importance to put effort into the antidote by confessing one’s negative deeds. and it will grow without being harmed (by the great amount of barley). the afflictions. In particular. [292] There is no certainty that even a virtuous person can avoid taking rebirth in his next life in the lower realms as he might retain in his mind-stream the karma of taking rebirth there. whatever virtue they may practice functions as the preparatory part. Thus. and endure things such as bloodletting. one should endeavor in the antidote. Therefore. this pea will also grow. it is said that even though one has for the most part practiced virtue. one will have to experience its ripening. although one might have practiced virtue for an entire lifetime in solitude. (this mind-set) is earnestly remembering to confess one’s wicked deeds. phlegm and their combinations. though much barley will grow.

138 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 55 de gcig gis kyang ’dzam-gling na / gnas-pa’i mi kun brlag-byed na / de-dag gso-ba’i-sman gzhan ni / phyogs rnams kun-nas mi rnyed na [294] chags sogs nyon-mongs-pa’i nad de-dag gi nang nas gcig gis kyang ngam yang na nyon-mongs-pa de-dag rgyud la skyes-pa’i gang-zag gcig gis kyang ’dzam-bu’i-gling na gnas-pa’i mi la-sogs-pa kun ngan-song la-sogs-par sdug-bsngal gyis brlag-parbyed na nyon-mongs-pa’i nad de-dag gso-bar-byed-pa’i-sman dam-pa’i-chos las gzhan ni phyogs rnams kun nas btsal yang sus-kyang mi rnyed na inserted root text: stanza 56 de la sman-pa thams-cad mkhyen / zug-ngu thams-cad ’byin-pa yi / bka’ ltar mi byed sems-pa ni / shin-tu gti-mug smad-pa’i-gnas [295] de la ste nad de-dag gso-ba’i sman-pa-mchog thams-cad-mkhyen-pa sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das lus-sems-gnyis-ka’i-sdug-bsnagl gyi zug-rngu thams-cad rtsa-badrung-nas ’byin-par-mdzad-pa yi bka’-lung nas ji-skad gsungs-pa ltar dam-pa’i-chos kyi sman-bsten-par mi byed-par phyin-ci-log-tu sems-pa rnams ni rang-ngos-nas shin-tu blun zhing gti-mug-can gzhan rgyal-ba sras-bcas kyis smad-pa’i-gnas dang / bsrung-skyob-kyi-lhas kyang ’dor zhing smad-par-byed de / [296] klu’i-dbang-pos / gang-zhig gser-snod rin-chen spras-pa yis // ngan-skyugs ’phyag-par-bgyis-pa de bas ni // gang-zhig mi ru skyes las sdig-pa dang // bgyis-pa de ni ches rab blun-pa lags // zhes so // lhas-sbyin la mi-gleng-pa mchil-ma-’thung-ba zhes gsungs-pa lta-bu’o // .

the omniscient Buddha. by the victors and their sons. Commits wicked deeds. Similarly. having been born human. just as it was given by the supreme physician. inserted root text: stanza 56 Then concerning this. even if searched for in any quarter. and if no other medicine to cure these diseases of afflictions besides the sublime dharma can be found by anybody. those who have the perverted intention—not to take the medicine of the sublime dharma (and) to disregard the advice that can uproot all misery. [295] then concerning this. [296] As Nāgendra43 said (in his Suhṛl-lekha): Even more foolish than one who cleans up Excrement with a jewel-ornamented golden vessel Is he who. those who have the intention to disregard The advice of the omniscient physician That can uproot all misery Are extremely ignorant and deserve to be criticized. . Even the protective deities will forsake them and leave them behind. both mental and physical suffering. [294] If all people and other (beings) living in Jambudvīpa can be destroyed by the suffering in the lower realms. 43 Nāgendra [klu’i dbang po] is an epithet for Nāgārjuna [klu sgrub]. (Buddha) called Devadatta a spittle-drinking fool. the Bhagavān. And if no other medicine to cure these Can be found in any quarter. having been infected by just one among these diseases of afflictions such as attachment and so forth. who can cure these diseases—are in themselves extremely foolish and ignorant people who deserve to be criticized by others.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 139 inserted root text: stanza 55 If all people living in Jambudvīpa Can be destroyed by just one of these (diseases of afflictions).

yang-sar-ltung dogs kyis bag-yod-par-byed-pa smos-cidgos so // inserted root text: stanza 58 de-ring kho-na mi ’chi zhes / bde-bar ’dug-pa rigs-ma-yin / bdag ni med-par-’gyur-ba’i dus / de ni gdon-mi-zar-bar ’gyur / [299] des-na myur-du gnyen-po dge-ba la ’bad-par gdams-pa / dus-de-ring kho-na tsam la’ang mi ’chi’o zhes sems bag-phab ste bde-bar-’dug-pa ’di ni rigs shing ’thad-pa ma yin te bdag ni shi nas med-par-’gyur-ba’i dus-gang-yin-pa de ni gdon-mi-za-bar te the-tshom-med-par-’gyur nges shing de-yang do-nub tsam-du’ang mi ’gyur-ba’i ngespa-med de / .yang-sa tha-mal chung-ngu la’ang / bag-yod gnas-par-bya dgos na / dpag-tshad stong du ltung-ba yi / yun-ring g.yangs-sar smos-ci-dgos / [298] ’bras-bu ngan-song gi g.yang-sa tha-mal-pa chungngu la’ang ’gro ’ong la-sogs-pa la bag-yod-pas gnas-par-bya dgos na ’di nas dpagtshad stong du zhes stong-phrag-nyi-shur te nyi-khri la-sogs-par ’og-tu ltung-ba yi dmyal-ba yang-sos la-sogs-par bar-gyi-bskal-pa sogs yun-ring-por sdug-bsngal dragpo myong-bar-’gyur-bas g.140 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [297] ’dir rgyal-po rnams kyis ’tsho-byed-gzhon-nu’i gso’i-sman-pa’i-rgyal-por lan-gsum dbang-bskur-ba dang rang-nyid kyis kyang ’jig-rten na sems-nad gso-ba’i sman-pa sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das dang / lus-nad gso-ba’i sman-pa bdag-nyid do zhes ngargyal-ba’i tshe de-bzhin-gshegs-pas de la nga-rgyal de med na chos-bstan-pas bdenpa-mthong-bar dgongs te /ri-bo-gangs-ldan du rdzu-’phrul gyis khrid de sman-btubcug-pas phal-cher ma shes-pas de-bzhin-gshegs-pas ji-bzhin mkhyen cing bstan-pas nga-rgyal bcag-par-mdzad-pa dang sbyar te sman-pa’ang rig-gnas phran-bu-tsam shes-pas mi ’ong-bas sman-pa thams-cad mkhyen-pa sangs-rgyas kho-na dang / sman yang dam-pa’i-chos ma-gtogs-pa gzhan-med-par gsungs / inserted root text: stanza 57 g.yang-sa la bsams te bshags dgos-pa’i rgyu-mtshan ni / ltung yang yan-lag tsam snad-par-’gyur-ba’i skas-mgo sogs g.

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 141 [297] After the kings had empowered Jīvaka-kumāra three times as the king of (all) physicians. the abyss of the lower realms. (Jīvaka-kumāra) did not know most of them. There is no certainty that it will not happen even tonight. . (here is) the instruction to swiftly endeavor in virtue.” inserted root text: stanza 57 If I must remain heedful (When approaching) even a small. “If he were without pride. (where I have to remain) for a long time. the Bhagavān.” inserted root text: stanza 58 It is unreasonable to rest easy Thinking. Because the Tathāgata knew exactly what they were and taught him.” With his miraculous power (Buddha) led (Jīvaka-kumāra) to the Himavat mountains. because I will experience for a long time. (here is) the reason for the necessity of confession: “If I must remain heedful when approaching even a small. he became proud. such as the top of a staircase. (Jīvaka-kumāra’s) pride was broken. I could teach him the dharma through which he could see the truth. [299] Therefore. the antidote (to one’s negative deeds). like for an intermediate aeon. I shall not die. “In this world. thinking. then how much more so must I be heedful in fear of falling into a chasm that drops thousands of leagues. “It is not enough to know a little about medicine or the minor sciences.” The Buddha thought. “Today. (Buddha) spoke. ordinary drop. ordinary drop. I shall not die. [298] Considering the result (of negative deeds). where by falling I might simply injure my limbs. at least. and there is no medicine other than the sublime dharma. Only the Buddha is the omniscient physician. at least.” For inevitably the time will come When I shall become nothing. intense suffering in the hell realms such as the reviving hell and others. thinking. Then how much more so (when in fear of falling) into a chasm That drops thousands of leagues. the Buddha. “Today. and I am the physician who heals physical diseases.” for it is certain and beyond doubt that inevitably the time will come when I shall die and become nothing. It is unreasonable and unsubstantiated to relax my mind [sems bag phab] and rest easy [bde bar 'dug pa]. is the physician who heals mental diseases. meaning twenty thousand (leagues) below this (world of Jambudvīpa). When he made him collect medicinal plants.

yeng sogs kyi ngang-du bde-bar-’dug ste ’dug mi rigs te / mya-ngan-bsal-bar yang / sa ’og gam ni mtho-ris na // skyes nas la-la ma shi-ba // ’ga’-zhig khyod kyis mthong-ba’am // thos sam ’on-te the-tshom-za // zhes-pa ltar ro // [303] de-yang blo-ngan-goms-kyi-bag-chags shog-dril lta-bu’i ’dod-yon gyi zhen-chags ’di spang-bar-bya-ba’i phyir ’di bsam dgos te / .142 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [300] bshes-spring du’ang / tshe ni gnod mang rlung gis btab-pa yi // chu yi chu-bor bas kyang mi-rtag na // dbugs-dbyung dbugs-rngub gnyid-kyis-log-pa las // sad khoms gang lags de ni ngo-mtshar-che // zhes-pas so // inserted root text: stanza 59 bdag la mi ’jigs su-yis byin / ’di las ji-ltar nges-thar-’gyur / gdon-mi-za-bar med-’gyur na / ci’i-phyir bdag yid-bde-bar ’dug / [301] des-na bdag la de-ring tsam-du’ang mi ’chi-bas ’chi-ba la mi ’jigs-pa’ang skrag mi dgos-par sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das sogs su yis byin te sus-kyang byin-pa med na ’chi-ba’i-’jigs-pa ’di las ji-ltar nges-par thar-bar-’gyur te mi ’gyur te / mtshan-mobzang-po’i-mdo las / sang tsam ’chi’am sus shes kyi // de-ring-nyid-du bstun te bya// ’chi-bdag sde-chen de dang ni // khyod-nyid bshes-ba ma yin nam // zhes-pas so // [302] gdon-mi-za-bar shi nas med-par-’gyur nges na ci-ltar bdag-nyid yid-phab ste sos-dal- kyis za-dga’-’thung-skyid rtsed-mo rnam-g.

How can my mind rest at ease? [301] Therefore. how can my mind rest relaxed and with leisure. to habitual tendencies of familiarity with a negative mind-set. inserted root text: 59 Who can assure me (that I need) not fear? How can I be surely freed from this (fear of dying)? If I will inevitably become nothing. can assure me that I need not fear or panic because at least today I will not die? But if nobody can give me (this assurance). which are like rolled-up paper.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 143 [300] Also in (Nāgārjuna’s) Suhṛl-lekha: Since life with its many ills is even more impermanent Than a wind-blown water bubble. how can I be surely freed from this fear of dying? I cannot. joyful drinking and playful distraction? It would not be proper to do so. attachment to sense pleasures is not easily overcome. . 45 This refers to a common example that just as paper which has been rolled for a long time naturally rolls itself back up after being stretched out. will not have to die? [303] In order to overcome attachment to sense pleasures. are they? [302] If it is certain that I will inevitably die and become nothing. The great legions of the Lord of Death Are not your friends. heard of Or suspected that a few (beings). the Buddha Bhagavān or anyone else.45 one should consider in this way: 44 According to Words of My Perfect Teacher. who. Born below the earth Or in the higher realms. From the Bhadra-karātrī-sūtra:44 Who can know he will not die tomorrow? Today is the time to practice. As it is said in the Śoka-vinodana: Have you seen. at ease in a state of delightful eating. That we still have the chance to inhale after exhaling or To wake up again after having fallen asleep is most amazing. page 41) Udāna-varga.

144 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 60 sngon chad myong ste zhig pa las / bdag la lhag pa ci yod na / bdag ni de la mngon zhen nas / bla ma'i bka' dang 'gal bar byas / [304] sngon-chad myong ste zhes da-snga yan-chad ’dod-pa’i-yul-lnga-po ’di ma spyad-pa med-par longs-spyad kyang yul-shes-’phrad-pa’i-bde-ba skad-cig-ma-tsam-zhig myong nas zhig ste ci-yang-med-pa las skad-cig-gnyis-par gnas-pa’i-bde-ba ni mi srid cing med-pas snying-po-med-pa [305] de-bzhin-du da-dung-yang spyad na yang zhig cing med-pa las bdag la lhag-pa sngar dang mi-’dra-ba’i bde-ba skad-cig-gnyis-par mi zhig-pa ci-zhig-yod-de de med na med-bzhin-du bdag ni ’dod-pa’i-yul-lnga-po de la mngon-par-zhen cing chags nas de’i-don-du sdig-sdug sogs gang la’ang mi-’dzem-par dka’-tshegs ngal-dub chen-po khyad-du-bsad nas bla-ma’i ste rang gi rtsa-ba’i-bla-ma dang ’jig-rten-gsum-gyi-blama sangs-rgyas bcom-ldan-’das sras-dang-bcas-pa’i bka’-dang-’gal-bar-byas te ’diphyi-gnyis phung-byed-par yin-pas de-ltar ma byed cig // la lhag-par zhen nas yang spyad yang zhig-pa las sred-pa lhag-par ’phel te ’di-phyignyis phung-du-’gyur-ba las ci-yang-med-pas na ’dod-pa’i-yul thams-cad la zhen-pa bcad de bya-ba thams-cad che-bzhag-chung-bskyur-byed-pa gal-che-ba yin gsungs // de-ltar rang gis longs-spyod-pa thams-cad la snying-po-med-par mthong nas zhenchags bcad dgos te / de-yang byis-pas rtsed-mo la zin nas ’jog-pa-med-par ltar ’dodyon thams-cad spyad zin nas ’jog-pa-med-pas bya-ba thams-cad rbad-chod-byed dgos la / [306] khyad-par-du sred-pa che-ba sha chang bud-med dang don-med-pa kha sna’i dud-pa [307] de-yang srid-pa’i pha-ma sred-len-gnyis yin-pas na gang-la sred-pa che na sdig-pa yang de’i che zhing sred-len-gnyis rgyun-chad na las yod kyang myong mi dgos so // tshigs bzhi ’di man-ngag-snying-po yin gsungs/ .

one’s craving increases even more. not having missed the enjoyment of any. is experienced. Nevertheless. the guru of the three worlds. which has (not already) vanished? Nevertheless. where object and consciousness meet. Thus. that is (the advice of) my personal root guru and of Buddha Bhagavān. I have destroyed both this life and the next. Nevertheless. one need not experience its (fruition). Giving up all activities (of indulgence in sense pleasures). I am clearly attached to these (pleasures). one’s negative deeds are equally great. being overly attached to great craving. even though one’s (residual) karma still exists. one must completely cut through all these activities (of attachment). is said to be important. one must sever one’s attachments. becomes nothing. [305] Although I continue to enjoy (the sense pleasures) in this way. (the bliss) vanishes and [306] Particularly. do not behave this way. I discount great hardship and trouble. a bliss that does not vanish in the second moment. (the clinging to bliss) is pointless. And have disregarded my guru’s advice. . together with his sons. And I have disregarded my guru’s advice. Therefore. For their sake. Therefore. seeing the pointlessness of all one’s enjoyments. not shying away from any kind of negative deeds. When the continuity of craving and clinging is cut. These four lines (of stanza 60) are said to be an ‘essential instruction’. Just as children are absorbed in their play and cannot leave it. [304] What I experienced before refers to the five sense pleasures that I have enjoyed until now.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 145 inserted root text: stanza 60 Is there anything that remains with me From what I experienced before. A bliss that abides for a second moment is impossible and does not exist. (people) fixate on the enjoyment of sense pleasures and cannot leave them. for meat. I am clearly attached and cling to these five objects of sense pleasure. [307] Furthermore. if one has great craving for whatever it may be. the big ones as well as the small ones. since craving and clinging are the parents of existence. suffering and so forth. that (bliss) has vanished (already) and nothing remains from it. As nothing remains but the destruction of this life and the next. Thus. alcohol and women and the useless smoking and sniffing of tobacco. one should cut attachment to all objects of sense pleasure. When a single moment of bliss. Is there anything that remains with me. Therefore. which differs from the previous (moment of bliss)? There is none. while there is nothing. one enjoys them repeatedly while (the pleasures) repeatedly vanish.

yog brgya-nyi-shu sogs dpon- g.146 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary inserted root text: stanza 61 gson-tshe ’di dang de-bzhin-du / gnyen dang bshes-pa rnams spangs nas / gcig-pu ga-shed ’gro dgos na / mdza’ dang mi-mdza’ kun ci-rung / [308] da-lta bla-ma dang dpon-po gzhan-du ’gro tshe ’khor-g.yog mang-por ’gro-ba lta-bu med-par ma-zad ’chi-ba’i-tshe na rang-rang gi gsonpa’i-tshe srog ’di dang de-bzhin-du pha-ma bu-tsha sogs gnyen dang grogs dga’mdza’ bshes dang nor longs-spyod sogs gang-yod-pa rnams spangs-pa’am shul-dubzhag-nas rgyal-po chen-po dang sprang-po-dbyug-bzung gnyis ’dra-bar [309] rang-nyid grogs-med gcig-pur gcer-bu lag-stong-mchan-du-bcug nas ’jigs-pa’i-mun- nag gis bdun-nas-bsus / las-kyi-rlung-dmar gyis rgyab-nas-ded de gshin-rje’i-skyesbu ’jigs-su-rung-bas sod-sod dang chod-chod kyi sgra dang bcas-par ga-shed de lasdbang gis mtho srid-pa’i-rtse-mo nas mnar-med kyi bar gar-’gro-cha-med du rangdbang-med-par ’gro dgos-pa’i dus-na gnyen-nye-ba grogs dga’-mdza’ dang ’jig-rtenpa’i-mi’i-dgra mi-mdza’-ba kun ci-rung ste phan-pa dang gnod-pa cung-zad kyang mi byed la inserted root text: stanza 62 mi dge ba las sdug bsngal 'byung / de las ji ltar nges thar zhes / nyin mtshan rtag tu bdag gis ni / 'di nyid 'ba' zhig bsam pa'i rigs / [310] de-tshe cis gnod na de-dag gi don-du chags-sdang sogs kyis rgyu sdig-pa mi-dge-ba- bcu sogs byas-pa las ’bras-bu dmyal-ba la-sogs-pa’i sdug-bsngal dbang-med-du ’byung zhing shin-tu mnar-bar-’gyur-bas na .

.46 due to the power of my karma. cut!”—to an uncertain destination. as well as all that I possess in the way of riches and enjoyments. 46 ga shed: uncertain destination [yul nges med]. beloved ones. [310] What will harm me at this time (of death)? Since from the negative deeds. What use are all my friends and enemies? [308] Not only can I not travel like gurus and officials nowadays—who. to an uncertain location [nges pa med pa’i phyogs ga shed]. How can I surely free (my mind) from these? Thinking constantly. helpers. driven from behind by the red karmic winds. helpers. is (most) appropriate. when traveling somewhere. friends and enemies. down to the Avīcī(-hell).Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 147 inserted root text: stanza 61 As I must abandon this life and in the same way My relatives and friends When I must go alone to an uncertain destination. moreover. when I myself must go—without friends. pulled from the front by a black darkness. somewhere. will inevitably arise. acquaintances and friends. (to any place) from the peak of worldly existence above. inserted root text: stanza 62 Since from non-virtuous actions suffering will arise. alone. “Kill. while the fearsome henchmen of the Lord of Death (scream) with loud voices. About this alone. without any personal choice. the suffering of the hell-realms and so forth. aversion and the like. sons and grandsons. caused through attachment. such as an entourage of a hundred and twenty servants and so forth—but. naked. go with a multitude of servants and assistants. I will be intensely tormented. my empty hands tucked under my armpits. kill!” and “Cut. I must abandon and leave behind this personal life and in the same way my relatives such as my parents. my worldly foes? They can neither harm nor benefit me in the slightest. beloved ones. day and night. A great king and a beggar holding a walking stick are both alike. without certainty where I will go. then what use are all my intimate relatives. at the time of (my) death. the fruitions (of these non-virtuous actions). [309] At that time. the ten non- virtuous actions that I have committed for the sake of these (friends and foes).

148 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary [311] rgyu sdig-pa mi-dge-ba de las tshul ji-ltar byas na rang rgyud nges-par thar-par-’gyur zhes nyin mi-dal mtshan mi gnyid-par dus-rtag-tu bdag gis ni ’di-nyid ’ba’-zhig ces gzhan dgag-sgra ste ’di gcig-pu kho-na bsam shing sdig-bshags la ’bad-pa’i bya-babyed-par rigs shing ’thad-pa’o zhes so // [312] de-yang gos tshon la btso-ba las ’khru-ba gal-che-ba ltar thos-bsam-sgom-pa’i-yon-tan rang-rgyud la mi ’byung-ba ’di sdig-pa mi-dge-ba’i dbang gis yin-pas sdig-sbyang la brtson-pa ’di shin-tu gces gsungs / inserted root text: stanza 63 bdag ni mi-shes gti-mug-pas / rang-bzhin-kha-na-ma-tho’am / bcas-pa’i-sdig-pa gang-yin las / gang-yang-rung-ba bgyis-pa rnams / [313] de-ltar thabs du-mas sdig-pa thams-cad snying-thag-pa-nas bshags-par ’dod-pa’i rtog- pa rang-rgyud la bskyed nas bshags-pa dngos ni gang bshags-pa’i nyes-pa’i rnamgrangs mang-du-yod-kyang rigs sam sde-tshan gyis bsdus na bcas-rang-gnyis su ’du la / [314] rang-bzhin-gyi-sdig-pa zhes sems-can sus byas na sdig-par-’gyur-ba dang / bcas-pa zhes-pa bcas-ldan-gyi-gang-zag gis bcas-pa-dang-’gal-ba rnams yin la / [315] de la yang mu-bzhi ste bcas-ldan dge-tshul-slong lta-bu’i sems-can gyi srog-bcad-pa lta-bu bcas-rang gnyis-ka yin-pa dang / des rtva-sngon-po-bcad-pa dang phyi-dro’ikha-zas lta-bu bcas-sdig yin la rang-bzhin ma yin-pa dang / skyabs-sdom tsam yang zhu ma myong-ba’i gang-zag gis sems-can gyi srog-bcad-pa lta-bu rang-bzhin-gyisdig-pa yin la bcas-pa ma yin-pa dang / des rtsva-sngon-bcad-pa lta-bu bcas-rang gnyis-ka ma yin-pa lta-bu ste / .

(4) If that (same lay) person cuts fresh grass. “Thinking constantly. skr.” one’s mind. without resting during the day and without sleeping at night. he has committed the negative deed of breaking an established rule but not the negative deed of violating a natural law. cuts fresh grass or if he eats in the evening. [313] After having developed in one’s own mind the concept of wishing to confess from the bottom of one’s heart all one’s negative deeds through various methods. endeavoring to purify one’s evil deeds it is of utmost importance. Among (all) unreported misdeeds of (violating) natural laws Or all negative deeds of (breaking) established rules. just as washing cloth is more important than dying it with color. and endeavoring to confess (my) negative deeds is (most) appropriate and reasonable.Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary 149 [311] Therefore. a term that excludes everything else. 47 dge tshul. Therefore. (2) If he. inserted root text: stanza 63 [312] Moreover. [315] In this regard there are four possibilities: (1) If someone like a monk47 or a fully ordained monk. but he has not committed the negative deed of breaking an established rule. although there are many enumerations of misdeeds that one should confess. śrāmaṇera 48 dge slong. he has (committed a negative deed of violating) both the natural and the established rules. he has committed the negative deed of violating a natural law. takes the life of a sentient being. “How can I surely free my mind from these causes. contemplation and meditation do not arise in Whatever I may have done Due to ignorance and stupidity. (I must ask myself). he has committed neither the negative deed of breaking an established rule nor the negative deed of violating a natural law.48 who has taken on established rules. bhikṣu . for instance. concerning the actual confession. meaning ‘only this one (topic)’. one can condense them into two categories or groups: (negative deeds of breaking) established rules and (negative deeds of violating) natural laws. What is called ‘(a negative deed of breaking) established rules’ refers to a person who has taken on (certain) established rules and who has contradicted these established rules. this is said to be due to the power of one’s negative deeds and nonvirtuous actions. (3) If a person who has not even received the refuge precepts takes the life of a sentient being. has accumulated a negative deed. for instance. when the qualities of study. [314] Any sentient being who has commited what is called ‘a negative deed of violating natural laws’. skr. my negative deeds and non-virtuous actions?” (The answer is). about this alone.

150

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[316] de-yang rtsva-sngon mi gcod-pa la-sogs-pa bcas-rkyang-gi-gnas-rnams kyang ma

bsrung na bslab-pa yang-dag-par bsrung mi nus-pas na de bsrung-ba’i-thabs ra-ba ltabur bcas-pa-mdzad-pa yin te /
[317] bka’ las /

gang-zhig ston-pa thugs-rje’i bstan-pa la // sla-bar sems nas ’da’-bar gang-byed-pa // de ni de las sdug-bsngal gzhan-dbang thob // smrug-tshal49 breg-pas a-smra’i-tshal nyams ltar // dud-’gror skye-’gyur e-la’i-’dab klu bzhin // zhes gsungs-pa lta-bu’o //
[318] de-ltar nges-par-byas nas bdag ni blang-dor la rmongs shing mi shes-pa gti-mug gi

dbang-du-gyur-pas mi-dge-ba-bcu la-sogs-pa rang-bzhin-gyi-sdig-pa kha-na-ma-thoba zhes kha-thog-tu-phud-mi-phod-pa ste gang-byas-pa’am / phyi-dro’i-kha-zas-zospa la-sogs-pa sdom-pa dang ’gal-ba’i bcas-pa’i-sdig-pa gang-yin-pa de rnams las gang-yang rung-ba ci-dang-ci-bgyis-pa rnams
inserted root: stanza 64

mgon-po’i spyan-sngar mngon-sum-du / thal-sbyar sdug-bsngal ’jigs-sems kyis / yang-dang-yang-du phyag-’tshal te / de-dag thams-cad bshags-par-bgyi /
[319] mgon-po’i ste mgon-po rgyal-ba sras-bcas thugs-rje-chen-po dang ldan-pa rnams kyi

spyan-sngar mngon-sum-du lus ba-spu g.yo mig mchi-ma-’khrugs lag thal-mo-sbyar te / ngag smre-sngags bcas bshags-tshig / sems ’chi-kha dang bar-do phyi-ma ngangsong-gi sdug-bsngal la ’jigs shing skrag nas gnong-’gyod-drag-po’i sems kyis yangdang-yang-du gus-pas phyag-’tshal te nyes-pa dang ltung-ba de-dag thams-cad sosor mi-gsang mi-sbad-par mthol-zhing-bshags-par-bgyi zhes so // yang-dang-yang zhes mkhas-pa’i-nyams-ldan-gyi-tshig ’gyod-pa chen-po dgos-pa’i don to //

49 All text give smrig tshal. Probably wrong spelling for smrug tshal

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

151

[316] If (a monk) does not observe the points that belong exclusively to the established rules,

such as not cutting fresh grass and the like, he will be unable to properly observe the trainings. Therefore, (the Buddha) created the established rules as a fence of skillful means for observing (the trainings).
[317] As (the Buddha) said:

Whoever commits transgression of any kind with a careless mind With regard to the doctrine of the compassionate teacher, That one will fall under the power of suffering by having done so, Just like a mango garden dies when the bamboo grove is cut down, Or like the nāga Elapattra, who took rebirth as an animal.
[318] “Having certainly acted in this (non-virtuous) way, whatever it may be and whatever

I may have done, from among (all) unreported misdeeds—those which one cannot express verbally (due to embarrasment)—of (violating) natural laws, negative deeds of violating natural laws, such as the ten non-virtuous actions and the like, that I have committed, or all50 negative deeds of (breaking) established rules by acting contrary to my precepts, for example by eating in the evening, due to being oblivious about what to do and what to avoid, having fallen under the power of ignorance and stupidity,
inserted root text: stanza 64

In the direct sight of the protectors, With palms joined and mind terrified by the misery (to come), I prostrate again and again, Confessing all these (misdeeds).
[319] In the direct sight of the protectors, meaning the victors and their sons, those

endowed with great compassion, confessing and laying open, without hiding or concealing, one by one, all these misdeeds and downfalls—my body in goosepimples, my eyes shedding tears, my hands with palms joined, my voice in lamentation with the words of confession—terrified and frightened by the misery (to come) at the moment of death, in the intermediate state and in the lower realms of the next life, with a mind of strong remorse and regret, I prostrate respectfully again and again.” ‘Again and again’ indicates the necessity of great regret and is a scholarly phrase of grandeur.

50 lit. whatever

152

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[320] de-ltar rang la rgyal-ba sras-bcas lkog-tu-gyur kyang de-dag la rang lkog-tu-mi-’gyur-

bar long-ba’i drung-na mig-ldan bzhin yin-pa’i phyir nyes-pa’i rnam-grangs zhus te bshags na grang-med mang-po’i pha-rol nas de-dag gis ye-shes-kyi-spyan-gyis-gzigs / rdzu-’phrul-gyi-snyan-gyis-gsan / mkhyen-pa’i-thugs-kyis-dgongs-par-’gyur-bas na mngon-sum kyang yin gsungs /
inserted root text: 65 / first half

’dren-pa rnams kyis bdag gi sdig / nongs-pa lags-par gzung-du-gsol /
[321] ’dren-pa rgyal-ba sras-bcas rnams kyis bdag gi sdig-pa-byas-pas nongs-shing nyes-

pa-can yin-pa la yin-pa’am lags-par-bzung-du-gsol-ba’am zhu-ba yin te / bshags-yul gyis nyes-pa ’dri-ba ltar rang gis nyes-pa khas-blangs nas zhu-ba yin gsungs /
inserted root text: 65 / second half

’di ni bzang-po ma lags-pas / slan-chad bdag ni yong mi bgyid /
[322] bzhi-pa sor-chud-pa’i-stobs ni / sdig-pa mi-dge-ba spyod-pa ngan-pa ’di ni snang-nas

mun-pa’i lam du ’gro zhing rnam-smin shin-tu mi-bzad-pa bskyed cing dam-pa rnams kyis smad-par-bya-ba yin gyi spyod-pa bzang-po ma lags-pas dus-de-ring-nasbzung-ste slan-chad bdag gis ni srog-la-bab-kyang yong-ye-mi-’bgyid cing sdom lags so zhes brjod-pas bshags-yul rgyal-ba sras-bcas kyi sku las ’od-zer sna-tshogs pa byung-bas rang-gzhan-sems-can-thams-cad kyi nyes-ltung sdig-sgrib thams-cad munkhung du nyi-ma shar-ba ltar sangs-kyis-dag-par bsam mo // snyil-bar-byed-pa ni gang-zag gnyis te / nyes-pa mi ’byung-ba dang / byung yang bshags-pas dag-par-byed-pa’o // bshags na ’dags-par sdig-pa’i yon-tan te /

[323] de-yang chos-kyi-rgyal-mtshan-bsgren-bar-byed-pa dang / bdud-kyi-rgyal-mtshan-

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

153

[320] Thus, although the victors and their sons remain hidden from me, I am not hidden

from them. They are like someone with eyesight in front of a blind person. Therefore, if I confess, enumerating my misdeeds—even from many countless (world systems) away—they see me with their wisdom eyes, hear me with their magical hearing and are aware of me with their wisdom minds. Thus, (their cognition) is explained as being ‘direct’.
inserted root text: 65 / first half

I beseech the guides (of the world) To accept me as I am, at fault due to my negative deeds.
[321] I request and beseech the guides, the victors and their sons, to accept me as I am or as

someone who is, in fact, at fault and (burdened) with mistakes, due to the negative deeds that I committed (previously). It is said that you should acknowledge and report your mistakes, as if the objects of confession were questioning you about your faults. The power of resolve

inserted root text: 65 / second half

Since these (negative deeds) are ignoble, From now on I will never repeat them.
[322] Four, the power of resolve: “Since these negative deeds, non-virtuous actions and

wicked conduct lead us from light onto the path of darkness, create the most unbearable51 (karmic) ripening and are criticized by sublime beings, they are ignoble conduct. From today onward, meaning from now on, I will never repeat them, even at the cost of my life—such is my pledge.” Having said this, I imagine that manifold light rays come forth from the objects of confession, the bodies of the victors and their sons, purifying and clearing away all misdeeds, downfalls, negative deeds and obscurations of all sentient beings, myself and others, just like the sun shining into a dark ravine (clears away the darkness).
[323] Furthermore, there are two kinds of people: Those who hoist the victory banner of

dharma and those who bring down the victory banner of māra. (For the first), misdeeds never arise; (for the second) they do arise but can be purified through confession. The quality of negative deeds is that they can be purified if confessed.

51 Unbearable [mi bzad pa] also connotes ‘uncontrollably wild’ [ma rungs pa].

154

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

[324] bshes-spring las /

gang-zhig sngon-chad bag-med-gyur-pa yang // phyi-nas bag-dang-ldan-par-gyur-pa ni // zla-ba sprin-bral lta-bur rnam-mdzes te // dga’-bo sor-phreng mthong-ldan bde-byed bzhin // zhes gsungs-pa ltar ro //
inserted root text: chapter title

byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-spyod-pa-la-’jug-pa las / sdig-pa-bshags-pa’i-le’u ste gnyis-pa’o //
[325] le’u’i-mtshan ni / byang-chub-sems-dpa’i-spyod-pa-la-’jug-pa las ’dir yan-lag-bzhi

gsungs-pa’i nang-nas brjod-bya’i-gtso-bo sdig-bshags yin-pas-na sdig-pa bshags-pa’ile’u ste gnyis-pa’o //

Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary

155

[324] As the Suhṛl-lekha states:

Someone who has formerly been heedless And later becomes heedful Is as beautiful as the moon freed of clouds— Just like Nanda, Aðgulimāla, Darśaka52 and Udayana. Listing the name of the chapter

inserted root text: chapter title

From the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra, the second, the chapter on Confessing Negativity.
[325] The name of this chapter: Since the confession of negative deeds is the main topic

among the four sections that are explained here, (the name of the chapter is): From the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra, the second, the chapter on Confessing Negativity.

52 Another name for Ajātaśtru.

156 Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary .

Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 157 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations of Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary .

or must the mind be prepared and trained in order to create a mind-set conducive to developing bodhicitta? The cause [rgyu] for bodhicitta is the accumulation of merit [bsod nams kyi tshogs]. His praise for the extraordinary qualities of bodhicitta should make students think. the thought of freeing all beings from suffering and establishing them on the level of buddhahood. When a practitioner’s mind is not firm in ‘the training of discipline’ [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa]. without causes and conditions [rgyu med rkyen med]. Only a mind that is rooted in ‘the three trainings’ [bslab pa gsum] of a bodhisattva is considered a pure mind. “I want to develop this precious bodhicitta in my mind. bodhicitta cannot be developed in one’s mind. In other words. Asaðga said that a pure mind is the cause [rgyu] for bodhicitta. a teacher from whom one receives the bodhisattva precepts [sdom pa len pa]. he must first develop relative bodhicitta. Without the cause of gathering the accumulation of merit and the condition of a spiritual friend. Does bodhicitta come about accidentially. the practice of the ‘seven sections’ is the direct cause for the rise of bodhicitta. bodhisattvas and teachers are the conditions for all happiness [bde ba thams cad kyi rkyen]. it still does not come about easily. Even if we understand that a noble mind-set is endowed with qualities and is something desirable. They are the condition for the attainment of liberation and omniscience [thar pa dang rnam mkhyen thob pa’i rkyen]. Thus. one must repeatedly retake them oneself mentally from the buddhas and bodhisattvas through a daily practice called ‘the liturgy of receiving the bodhisattva precepts’ [byang sdom len chog]. Without bodhicitta buddhahood cannot be achieved. The cause for the attainment of happiness. never in a polluted mind [sems rnyog po]. That is why the great Indian master Nāgārjuna said you need to perfect the accumulations [tshogs rdzogs pa]! Asaðga taught that bodhicitta arises only in a pure mind [sems dvangs pa]. in ‘the training of concentration’ [ting . liberation and omniscience is the sublime dharma [dam pa’i chos]. endowed with inconceivable qualities. The condition [rkyen] for the rise of bodhicitta is reliance on a spiritual friend [dge ba’i bshes gnyen]. The buddhas. Once one has received the bodhisattva precepts from a teacher. A beginner should consider relative bodhicitta to be extremely precious. is the most noble of all thoughts.” Precious bodhicitta. Only if the accumulation of merit has been gathered to some extent can bodhicitta develop in one’s mind. Diligent beginning bodhisattvas renew their bodhisattva precepts six times every day since a beginner’s mind loses the precepts easily. a noble thought does not arise easily in the mind of an ordinary person. The most effective methods for gathering the accumulation of merit are condensed into a practice called ‘the seven branches’ or ‘the seven sections’ [yan lag bdun pa]. Before a beginning bodhisattva can give rise to absolute bodhicitta. He should reflect on how relative bodhicitta arises.158 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Text section 69: Śāntideva taught the great benefits of bodhicitta in chapter one of the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra.

a bodhisattva’s mind no longer experiences regret or guilt about former misdeeds and thus becomes very pure. however. Next. 7. It is further said that a pure mind leads to confidence in the dharma [rig pa dvangs bas chos la nges shes skye]. Moreover. The section on rejoicing [rjes su yi rang ba’i yan lag]. The section on going for refuge [skyabs su ’gro ba’i yan lag]. 3. and concentration will arise easily. A bodhisattva keeping discipline can easily fall into spiritual arrogance. 4. Such a mistaken attitude toward one’s discipline will spoil the purity of one’s mind.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 159 nge ’dzin gyi bslab pa]. Śāntideva teaches eight sections [yan lag brgyad] for gathering the accumulation [tshogs bsags pa] of merit: 1. The section on presenting offerings [mchod pa ’bul ba’i yan lag]. Thus. . The section on requesting the buddhas to turn the wheel of dharma [chos ’khor bskor bar bskul ba’i yan lag]. adopting a position of moral superiority. taking pride in his impeccable conduct. and in ‘the training of wisdom-knowledge’ [shes rab kyi bslab pa]. Once the bodhisattva’s mind is well-grounded in the three abovementioned disciplines. the bodhisattva’s mind will become very peaceful [zhi ba]. Since he abstains from harming any sentient being. 2. practicing methods for gathering the accumulation of merit will make your mind-stream pure [rgyud gtsang ma]. guilt and arrogance can never develop genuine concentration. A beginning bodhisattva must at least maintain (1) ‘the discipline of abstaining from negative conduct’ [nyes spyod sdom pa’i tshul khrims]. The section on requesting the buddhas not to enter into nirvāṇa [mya ngan las mi ’da’ bar gsol ba ’debs pa’i yan lag]. 5. tame [’dul ba] and relaxed [glod po]. 6. a bodhisattva aspires to practice (3) ‘the discipline of fulfilling the benefit of sentient beings’ [sems can don byed kyi tshul khrims]. The discipline of a bodhisattva is ‘discipline free from regret’ [’gyod pa med pa’i tshul khrims]. A mind polluted with harmful intentions can never give rise to bodhicitta. Without being able to maintain at least the discipline of refraining from negative conduct and the discipline of gathering virtuous dharmas free from arrogance. it will never be pure. it will become naturally still. A mind ridden with regret. Out of a mind of stillness and concentration. The term ‘a pure mind’ [sems dvangs ma] has great meaning. wisdom-knowledge can easily manifest. concentration will not arise in a bodhisattva’s mind. a bodhisattva trains in (2) ‘the discipline of gathering virtuous dharmas’ [dge ba chos sdud kyi tshul khrims]. The section on paying respect [phyag ’tshal ba’i yan lag]. In addition to guaranteeing that discipline is maintained. When practicing virtue. The section on confessing negative deeds [sdig pa bshags pa’i yan lag]. In chapters two and three of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. a bodhisattva must maintain ‘discipline free from arrogance’ [rlom sems med pa’i tshul khrims].

it has the purpose of asuring that the Buddha’s teaching remains for a long time. annihilating the attachment of holding on to what is inferior [dman pa la ’dzin pa sred pa]. ‘Ignorance’ or ‘non-awareness’ [ma rig pa] connotes ‘not knowing’ [ha ma go ba]. Through the practice of the seven or eight sections. The teacher is the root of the dharma. without any hardship. Other spiritual systems do not teach giving to others all the goodness [dge ba] one has acquired through one’s practice. Supplicating the buddhas not to enter into nirvāṇa is also an antidote to ignorance. Confessing negativity or unskillful volitional action [sdig pa] serves the purpose of annihilating the attachment of clinging to what is wrong [sdug cha la ’dzin pa’i ’dod chags]. Rejoicing [rjes su yi rang] is an antidote to envy and jealousy [phrag dog]. Paying respect or offering prostrations [phyag ’tshal ba] has the purpose of annihilating pride and arrogance [nga rgyal]. achievements. and annihilating the attachment to ignorance [rmongs pa’i sred pa]. Requesting the buddhas to turn the wheel of dharma is another remedy for ignorance. since when the buddhas turn the wheel of dharma the sun of wisdom arises. All Buddhist practice must be framed by ‘the three excellences’ [dam pa gsum]: 1) bodhicitta. Therefore. the ‘absence of awareness’. The section on dedicating the root of virtue for the benefit of others [dge rtsa gzhan don du bngos ba’i yan lag]. Without a teacher. Normally. we cling to our wrong actions and mistakes. and through bodhicitta you distance yourself from the lower paths. Taking refuge distances one from the wrong paths. The transmission of the ‘dharma of statements’ [lung gi chos] and the ‘dharma of realization’ [rtogs pa’i chos] is based on one’s teacher and spiritual guide. Furthermore. Dedication is a special feature that distinguishes Buddhism from other spiritual systems. bodhisattvas and teachers to remain for a long time. Envy and jealousy are the fear that others are better than you are. and all obstacles for developing bodhicitta will be removed. delusion or dullness. . one is cut off from the root of the dharma. one requests the buddhas. the five afflictions [nyon mongs lnga] will be reduced. Confession [bshags pa] is an antidote to ignorance [gti mug]. Traditionally. Śāntideva adds refuge as the eighth. It incorporates as well the request for the longevity of one’s teacher [bla ma] and spiritual guide [dge ba’i bshes gnyen]. stupidity. this set is called ’the seven sections’ or ‘the seven branches’ [yan lag bdun pa]. and merit of others destroys attachment to this fear [’jigs sred].53 You accept and acknowledge all the mistakes you have committed in this and all former lifetimes based on ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. Making offerings [mchod pa ’bul ba] is taught as a remedy for miserliness [ser sna] and as an antidote to the craving of attachment [chags pa’i sred pa]. It connotes an ignorance that is dull and dark. the accumulation of merit will be gathered in an easy manner. Rejoicing in the qualities.160 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 8. the excellent beginning [sbyor ba sems 53 ‘Ignorance’ [gti mug] can be translated as ignorance. or that others own something you lack.

Presenting offerings. Your personal property is your most treasured possession. if you offer your teacher gold. Traditionally. and 3) dedication. Through offerings you annihilate your fixation on what you hold most dear. thinking. Training in these four practices loosens up your habit of attachment to the positive as well as the negative. then in order to overcome this fixation. Confession means casting away all fixations on negativity that you have been holding in your polluted mind from former lifetimes [tshe sngon nas sdig pa’i sems nang la sdug cha ’dzin yod pa thams cad]. and through confession you annihilate your fixation on your own negative patterns. For instance. That is generosity. you need to distance yourself from what you have done. If you want to overcome these consequences. You must let go of whatever you offer or give away. the excellent main part [dngos gzhi dmigs med dam pa].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 161 bskyed dam pa]. the greatest attachment is to precious metals such as gold. To overcome this strong attachment it is customary to offer gold when requesting teachings from a great master.” you are holding a wrong view. This important advice is imbedded in the teachings of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. The first step is to understand that what you did was a mistake. the excellent conclusion [rjes bsngo ba dam pa]. Generally. Then you aspire to rid yourself of this negative action. “I must give him gold to receive these teachings because he likes gold. if you have killed someone you must first realize that you have committed a deed with very negative consequences for yourself. Śāntideva’s first stanza concerns offerings of things that belong to an owner [bdag pos yongs su bzung ba’i mchod pa]. ’confession’ [bshags pa]. you should present it as an offering. making confessions and dedicating your merit have a single aim [dmigs yul]—the destruction of fixations [’dzin pa chad pa’i phyir du]. “These belong to me. you are practicing virtue [dge ba]. If you treasure something very much and hold it most dear [phyogs tu ’gyur ba la ’dzin pa]. If you make an offering in order to overcome your own attachment. For the Buddha whether or not you present . Through confession you distance yourself from holding on to what is inferior [dman pa la ’dzin pa]. and to precious stones. things you consider to be your personal property. Confession has the purpose of freeing yourself from all the negative deeds that you have committed in this and all former lifetimes. These practices are the outstanding features of Buddha’s teachings. and you accumulate negativity [sdig pa]. In order to cut fixation to your possessions. and ‘dedication’ [bsngo ba] have more or less the same connotation. offerings of which you can think. ’generosity’ [sbyin pa]. The dharma teaches the overcoming of attachment [chags pa] and fixation [’dzin pa]. practicing generosity. you cannot offer anything. Dedication is considered a supreme method to cut through clinging and fixation [’dzin pa]. donate them to others. All four practices force you to open your hand and to give something away.” This includes things you have bought or received as presents. 2) non-conceptual practice. Without opening your hand. However. the terms ’offering’ [mchod pa]. It is impossible to present a gift and still hold on to it.

” You should rather present the offerings with a pure motivation. You should not present offerings to inferior objects like demons and spirits. such as. “Set up offerings!” When the students had laid some offerings out. The devotional act of arranging offerings opens the mind and creates a serene atmosphere. I can’t stand it. Do not present offerings to make a big name for yourself. Any beautiful arrangement inspires and calms the mind. For this reason Atiśa refused to give the bodhisattva vows easily. dharma and saṃgha. Presenting offerings to spirits will never give the same results as presenting an offering to the three jewels. without the attitude: “That person gave so much. the realization of the natural state. presenting offerings is said to be the greatest. and pure substance [dngos po dag pa]. You need a pure motivation for making offerings [mchod pa’i sems rnam par dag pa] so that 1) the negative deeds [sdig pa] and obscurations [sgrib pa] of yourself and others will be purified. The Sanskrit word ‘buddha’ primarily means ’realization’ [rtogs pa]. he told them. I should outdo him and present more. without showing off or trying to impress anyone. given to aquire fame. You present offerings without being stingy. If you present offerings with the intention of becoming famous. while bodhicitta focuses on others. They can be the recipient of your generosity but not of your offerings. It also . The three jewels are Buddha. he said. your amount of merit will be very small. “I present this offering to the Buddha so that this precious bodhicitta may arise in the minds of all beings. Egoclinging focuses on oneself. The three jewels [dkon mchog gsum] are such a pure object. This is a very important point. such as a mind concerned with fame and good reputation. Text section 70: Among all accumulations of merit. You present offerings only to reduce your own attachment to things you hold dear.162 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations offerings makes absolutely no difference. When his students requested the bodhisattva precepts. Atiśa insisted on perfect offerings because beautifully arrayed offerings generate purity of mind. and 2) so that the merit and wisdom that lie dormant in everybody’s mind will be actualized. Text section 72 / stanza 1: For your offering to be meritorious you must present it with the three-fold purity or the three-fold perfection [yang dag pa rnam pa gsum]: pure motivation [bsam pa dag pa]. Text section 73-74 / stanza 1: You need a ‘pure object to which you offer’ [mchod yul rnam par dag pa]. Present offerings without jealousy [phrag dog] or competitiveness. he finally and reluctantly [da gzod] agreed to give the bodhisattva precepts. This kind of offering is called a ‘pretentious offering’ [ngom mchod]. contradict each other. “That won’t do!” After refusing the students a few times.” The attitude of bodhicitta and a mind involved in ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. without being proud. pure object [zhing dag pa].

bhumi] onward. Because the Buddha has realized the natural state as it is. and that which is free from all fixations is the truth of cessation [gang zhig ’dzin pa thams cad dang bral song ba ’di ’gog pa’i bden pa]. they are the custodians of all remaining beings. The term ’the natural state’ [chos nyid] is synonymous with ’the expanse of truth’ [chos kyi dbyings. Ākāśagarbha [nam mkha’i snying po]. Bodhisattvas aspire with relentless courage to unexcelled enlightenment. In the context of the Mahāyāna teachings. The Buddha has awakened from all sleep states of ignorance [ma rig pa’i gnyid thams cad sangs]. dharmadhatu] and with ’the expanse of emptiness' [stong pa nyid gyi dbyings]. The eight great close sons [nye ba’i sras chen brgyad] are: Mañjuśrī [’jam dbyangs]. Thus. and his mind has opened up to all fields of knowledge [shes bya thams cad la blo rgyas pa]. the term ‘tathāgata’ means ’the one who has realized the natural state as it actually is’. As he has himself realized without any error the natural state as it is [chos nyid de bzhin nyid]. That which frees one from attachment is the truth of the path [gang gis chags pa dang bral bar byed pa lam gyi bden pa]. Avalokiteśvara [spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug]. The Mahāyāna saṃgha refers to the ‘sons of the victors’. who ‘has realized’ the natural state as it is. The Tathāgata is the one who ‘has gone’ to the view of the natural state as it is. from the first level [sa. empowered with the treasury of the sublime dharma. They are also called the ’sons of the Victor’ [rgyal ba’i sras. It is a state free from all elaborations [spros bral] and free from all philosophical positions [mtha’ bral]. Any cause for taking rebirth within saṃsāra has been eradicated. The truth of the path is non-defiling wisdom [zag med shes rab]. Sarvanīvaraṇaviṣkambhī [sgrib pa thams cad rnam par sel ba]. like the unfolding [rgyas pa] of a lotus flower. he is called the Tathāgata. Maitreya [byams pa] and Samantabhadra [kun tu bzang po]. The tathāgatas [de bzhin gshegs pa rnams] are those who have gone in accord with the natural state as it (actually) is [chos nyid de bzhin nyid dang rjes su mthun par gshegs pa]. They are the descendants of the Buddha. Buddha’s realization has unfolded like a lotus flower that has risen above the swamp.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 163 connotes ’awakening from sleep’ [gnyid sad pa] and ’unfolding’ or ’opening up’. The most prominent members of the Mahāyāna saṃgha are the ’eight great close sons’. and it is they who will take over the . The dharma has two aspects: the truth of cessation [’gog bden] and the truth of the path [lam bden]. Cessation in the context of the Hīnayāna teachings is the disruption of saṃsāra’s continuity [’khor ba’i rgyun chad pa]. the tenth level bodhisattvas who constantly stayed with the Buddha. skr. They are called the ’eight close sons’ because they reached the tenth bodhisattva level and are thus close to the level of Buddha’s realization. jinaputra] because they are considered to be Buddha’s heart sons [thugs kyi sras]. skr. cessation refers to the wisdom of the Buddha [sangs rgyas kyi ye shes]. the bodhisattvas. he can help others achieve this same view. skr. Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. the wisdom that realizes egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab tshul ldan dang bcas pa lam gyi bden pa]. ‘Gone’ [gshegs pa] connotes ’realization’ [rtogs pa] and ’knowledge’ [mkhyen pa]. Kṣitigarbha [sa yi snying po].

Do not offer your cheapest or ugliest possession. when they have reached the tenth bodhisattva level. They also transmit the teachings of the Buddha to others. you need ‘pure offering substance’ [mchod gyi dngos po rnam par dag pa]. 3. They are the ones suited to inherit the kingdom of inconceivable wisdom [bsam mi khyab pa’i ye shes kyi rgyal thabs la dbang du bsgyur du rung ba]. 2. The term noble substance [rgyu bzang ba] refers to something that is not acquired through negative deeds [sdig pa]. Without such empowerment the bodhisattvas cannot attain enlightenment. They have power over the treasury of the sublime dharma [dam pa’i chos kyi mdzod la dbang ba]. . the buddhas and bodhisattvas. This is like handing over the power to a royal child. 4. As for the manner of offering [mchod pa phul tshul].164 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations kingdom of inconceivable wisdom. First. just as the child of a king inherits the treasury of the kingdom. he is always there to help and guide the bodhisattvas. Like a father who feeds and raises his children. when the Buddha taught his bodhisattva students. They are Buddha’s descendants [rgyal ba’i gdung ’dzin pa] because they traverse the path to enlightenment and uphold his lineage without interruption. complete enlightenment. he empowers them as dharma kings [chos kyi rgyal po] through the ‘great empowerment of light rays’ [‘od zer chen po’i dbang bskur]. but rather your most valuable and appreciated objects. you should arrange the seven offerings bowls [bdun tshar] and a lamp [mar me] in a beautiful fashion. He then furthers renunciation and realization. There are four factors that establish the father-child relationship between the Buddha and the bodhisattvas: 1. having inherited all of Buddha’s teachings. Thus. they are called the ’children of the Victor’ [rgyal ba’i sras]. just as the child of a king upholds the family lineage. After the Buddha’s nirvāṇa. and fill the vessels with clean and fresh substances. They all will attain the inconceivable wisdom of the Buddha. They are the guardians of all remaining beings [gdul bya’i lhag ma skyong ba]. he made them develop the seed of virtue and bodhicitta. Clean your shrine and the offering articles. Offer that to which you cling the most. This describes the ‘pure object’. What you offer must be untainted by negative deeds and should not be inferior. Text section 75 / stanza 1: Furthermore. the Buddha plants the seed of the family [rigs kyi sa bon bskrun pa]. they undertake to care for all future sentient beings. Do not consciously offer dirty or old things. empowering the crown prince to be king. At the very beginning. A noble substance must have a pure origin. continuing to guide them along the paths and levels. Finally.

with a pure mind infused with respect and devotion. avoiding spilling any water on the offering table. The bowls should be filled with care. Offerings should be presented in a mindful and alert manner. Avoid carelessness. They want to make sure that they give the most lavish amount of offerings and that their great generosity is widely acknowledged. argham] that is offered to the mouths of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. The water should be clean with no grains. You should also not develop a miserly attitude when you see other people making vast offerings. Some people make spectacular offerings. sweet-tasting drinking water [mchod yon. Don’t think. aiming to display their wealth and piety. “Why are they wasting so much money on offerings!” This attitude is called malevolence [’jur ’gegs]. The first bowl contains water that represents the clean. . 54 This means from left to right as seen from the perspective of the practitioner. full but not quite to the brim. Practitioners should not save money and time by presenting inexpensive items and holding back precious things. dust or insects floating in it. as seen from the perspective of the shrine. In the morning you should set out the seven offering bowls and the butter lamp from right to left. skr. again as seen from the perspective of the shrine. When your most cherished objects are offered.54 When you empty out the bowls in the evening you begin from the left and work your way to the right. disrespect and any negative state of mind as this will create only negative karma. hoping to impress other people and be praised. 1. with none out of line. Such an offering furthers pride and arrogance rather than reducing attachment and fixation. and who even feels miserly regarding other people’s wealth. hair. Text section 76: Carefully arranging your offerings is a way of keeping discipline. disliking that other people make offerings and causing obstacles against their generosity [gzhan gyis sbyin pa gtong ba la gegs byed pa]. neither too close nor too far apart. It is said that you leave the distance of one barley grain length between each of the offering bowls and should fill the bowls with water up to one barley grain length below the brim. Offerings should not be tainted by miserliness [ser sna].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 165 The offerings should not be made to serve one’s pride [nga rgyal] or to serve pretentiousness in offerings [ngom mchod]. Arrange the offerings beautifully. They should be straight. The term malevolence [’jur ’gegs] refers to someone who cannot bear to see other people use their possessions and wealth on offerings. Lay out the clean offering bowls side by side. The term miserliness [ser sna] describes a person who does not want to part with any of his own possessions. donations and so forth. the offering becomes a remedy against miserliness.

Today.166 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 2. The fourth is a bowl again filled with rice and with incense sticks planted in it. After you have set up the offering bowls you should recite OM AH HUNG a few times. 8. 7. You will be able to generate bodhicitta. The seventh offering is a bowl of rice with a small food torma55 placed on top of it. The sixth offering is a bowl filled with scented water representing fragrant perfume [dri chab. The eighth offering is a bowl of rice with two cymbals [ting shags] placed on top of it. you may also just offer clean water and a butter lamp. skr. Imagine that you are offering all various offering substances. aloke] is offered to the eyes (mind) (???) of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. The second bowl also contains water. representing the pure and refreshing water for washing [zhabs bsil. Imagine further that they grant their blessings to you and all sentient beings. skr. which will be described later in the text. This will bring the blessings of Buddha’s body. shapda] offered to the ears of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. representing music [rol mo. The third bowl is filled with rice and has a flower placed in it. skr. skr. 55 A torma in Tibetan culture is an offering cake made of dough. representing the food [zhal zas. This illuminating lamp [mar me. naividya] offered to the mouths of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. This represents a blooming flower [me tog. A candle will do just as well. 5. That is what you should keep in mind every morning when you offer the seven bowls and the butter lamp or candle. padam] that is offered to the feet and hands of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. speech and mind down and will dispel any demons or spirits that might be near the offerings. skr. To simplify. The fifth offering is the butter lamp vessel [mar me kong bu] filled with melted butter or oil and containing a wick [sdong bu]. to the buddhas and bodhisattvas and consider that they actually accept the offerings. a cookie or something similar will serve just as well. skr. dhupe] offered to the noses of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. pushpe] and is offered to the eyes of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. while sprinkling a few drops of clean water on the offering bowls with a strand of kusha grass that you hold in your right hand. skr. 6. These simple ways of presenting offerings are primarily designed to remedy miserliness and gather the accumulation of merit. It represents the fine smelling incense [gdug spos. gandhe] and is offered to the bodies of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. . Through this merit you will be able to generate kindness and compassion in your mind. 4. 3.

It is a law of impermanence that whatever comes together will be dispersed. named ‘Great Glacial Ocean Vairocana’ [rnam snang gangs chen mtsho]. Offer everything beautiful and precious that could possibly exist in all oceanic world systems. can experience all phenomena as if they belonged to him. You need not even evoke a mental picture. To truly believe that the material world is real and physically exists is called clinging to objects. Offerings that do not belong to an owner do not require detailed and lengthy visualization [bskyed rim]. This saṃbhogakāya buddha is also undifferentiated from all the buddhas of the ten directions. Someone who is truly free from all clinging and fixation. offerings that belong to an owner and offerings that do not belong to an owner. everything belongs to you. These two kinds of offerings. lakes. Within each pore of his body infinite world systems appear. Simply reading or reciting the description of these offerings mindfully is sufficient. With regard to such objects people think. they do not annihilate ego-clinging completely. is called clinging to a subject. rivers and so forth. we will lose whatever we hold dear. which are one billion world systems. The Buddha manifests on the saṃbhogakāya level as Buddha Vairocana. clinging to the identity of a person. To actually believe that you have an identity. “They are not mine. Eventually. are considered gross remedies and will only weaken the two types of ego-clinging to some extent.” In general. and within each atom of these worlds is an infinity of other worlds and infinite forms of Vairocana. Therefore. A practitioner who has cut through all clinging and fixation has nothing left to lose. There are two kinds of remedies: gross remedies [rags pa sgo nas kyi gnyen po] and remedies that eradicate something from the very root [rtsa ba drung ’byin gyi gnyen po]. If you have nothing to lose. to identify yourself with a position and act upon it. presenting offerings that belong to an owner is said to remedy clinging to a personal identity [gang zag gi bdag ’dzin] and presenting offerings that do not belong to an owner is a remedy for clinging to the identity of phenomena [chos kyi bdag ’dzin]. This wisdom completely eradicates both types of ego-clinging from the very root. but as vast as the ‘Great Glacial Ocean of Vairocana’ [rnam snang gangs chen mtsho]. which do not belong to anyone. it is said: “Whatever you give away is yours. Ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin] implies holding something as real [bden par ’dzin pa].” Anything you can lose belongs to others. Text section 77: Offerings that do not belong to an owner are those things such as mountains. Whatever you hold on to belongs to others.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 167 Whatever we cling to will bring us suffering. clinging to the identity of phenomena. One must understand what is meant by vastness. Each form of Vairocana . The true remedy against both types of ego-clinging is only the wisdom that realizes egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. Your offerings should be not only as vast as the ‘the third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum ’jig rten].

which is excellent for the lungs [cu gang glo ba’i bzang po]. and (6) castor oil. which is excellent for the heart [dza ti snying gi bzang po]. which is excellent for the liver [gur gum mchin pa’i bzang po]. each of which contains billions of trichiliocosms. all kinds of fruits and medicinal plants. all kinds of precious stones and gems from the worlds of gods.000 to the power of three. yellow. (7) not harmful for the stomach [lto la mi gnod pa]. (3) light [yang ba]. (4) soft [’jam pa]. in our case the Buddha Śākyamuni. Imagine the ‘five kinds of grain’ [’bru sna 56 The third order of a thousand world systems [stong gsum] or one trichiliocosm means 1. The river Sindhu to the south springs from the mouth of a peacock [rma bya’i kha nas ’bab]. (6) unstained or clean [dri ma med pa / gtsang ba]. One trichiliocosm equal to one billion world systems and is the field of influence of one nirmāṇakāya. Vairocana’s palm holds twenty-five lotuses. our trichiliocosm is merely one among billions. imagine lakes. and the entire universe constitutes Vairocana.yu]. Our world system. (5) clear [dvangs pa]. (2) good-tasting or sweettasting [zhim pa / mngar ba ]. 57 See Myriad Worlds.168 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations in turn contains infinite buddhas and buddha fields.56 On the thirteenth lotus tier. page 112 . stacked one on top of the other. humans and nāgas. (3) saffron. red and blue lotuses. silver. skr. You may imagine the ‘five precious substances’ [rin chen sna lnga]: gold [gser]. which is excellent for the spleen [ka ko la mtsher pa’i bzang po]. Text sections 78-79 / stanza 2: Visualize all kinds of beautiful flowers. One will be free of diseases in future lifetimes and will also have the capacity to alleviate the sickness of others through medicine. which are excellent for the arteries [li shi srog rtsa’i bzang po]. Imagine many medicinal substances such as the ‘six excellent substances’ [bzang po drug]: (1) nutmeg. is an infinitely small particle within these oceanic world systems. (2) bamboo manna. silver [dngul].57 Thus. (4) cloves. which equals one billion single world systems. which is excellent for the kidneys [sug smel mkhal ba’i bzang po]. also listed as gold. such as white. copper [zangs]. saha loca dhatu]. coral [byu ru] and pearl [mu tig]. (5) cardamom. Offering medicinal plants to the Buddha generates great merit. turquoise [g. Vairocana encompasses the entire universe. and the river Sītā to the north springs from a lion’s mouth. ponds and rivers of pure water endowed with the following eight qualities [yan lag brgyad ldan gyi chu]: (1) cooling [bsil ba]. and (8) not harmful for the throat [mgrin pa la mi gnod pa]. The river Ganga to the east springs from an elephant mouth [glang chen kha nas ’bab]. iron [lcags] and tin [gsha’ tshe]. The river Vakṣu to the west springs from the mouth of a horse [rta yi kha nas ’bab]. called the ‘world system of endurance’ [mi mjed ’jig rten gyi khams. Imagine the four great descending rivers [’bab chu bzhi] that spring from the four sides of Lake Manasarovar [mtsho ma dros pa / mtsho ma pham] next to Mount Kailāsa.

Jambudvīpa in the south [lho ’dzam bu gling] is blue. 6) pearl [mu tig]. Alternatively they are: 1) beryl [bai dur ya]. and 7) emerald [rdo’i snying po / mar gad]. the blue appearance of the sky is called the ‘ornamentation of space’ [rgyan gyi nam mkha’]. As space itself has no color. That is why the sky above our continent. (6) Plough Holder [gshol mda’ ’dzin]. men and nāgas. 2) sapphire [indranila]. 3) beryl [vaidurya]. Think of jewel trees like those found in Sukhāvatī [bde ba chen]. (4) the milk lake [’o ma’i mtsho]. 5) quartz [spug]. Imagine offering anything worthy to be offered to the three jewels. Recall the wish-fulfilling tree of the god realms. (3) the water lake [chu’i mtsho]. rice [’bras]. Imagine beautiful or pleasing lakes such as the seven pleasure lakes [rol pa’i mtho bdun] on top of Mount Sumeru. for example the seven golden mountains on top of Mount Sumeru: (1) Rim holder [mu khyud ’dzin]. imagine the ‘three medicinal fruits’ [’bras bu gsum]: arura [a ru ra]. Mount Sumeru. which immediately grants all wishes. 4) crystal [rdo shel]. buckwheat [bra bo] and oats [so ba]. (2) the wine lake [chang gi mtsho]. barura [ba ru ra] and kyurora [skyu ro ra]. and gold in the north [byang gser]. The seven precious substances [rin po che sna bdun] are: 1) ruby [pad ma ra ga]. (4) Pleasant to Look at [lta na sdug]. vast pastures and beautiful parks inhabited by multi-colored birds and tame antelopes. 3) silver [dngul]. (???) Sanskrit names. 5) diamond [rdo rje pha lam]. Text sections 82 / stanza 4: Offer the best fragrances of the worlds of gods. ruby in the west [nub pad ma ra ga]. 2) gold [gser]. natural incense [lhan skyes kyi spos] and manufactured incense [sbyar byung gi spos]. barley. .Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 169 lnga]: barley [nas]. Bring to mind trees bedecked with flowers and laden with fragrant fruit. Think of remote forests. and (7) the honey lake [sbrang rtsi’i mtsho]. Further. 4) emerald [mar gad]. and (7) Yoke Holder [gnya’ shing ’dzin]. permeating the whole area with wonderful smells and aromas. and 7) coral [byu ru]. (6) the butter lake [mar gyi mtsho]. (2) Bent [rnam ’dud]. (???) The entire space on each side of Mount Sumeru shines with the respective color of that side of the mountain. (3) Horse Ear [rta rna]. wheat [gro]. (5) the yogurt lake [zho’i mtsho]. Text sections 80-81 / stanza 3: Visualize beautiful jewel mountains [rin chen ri bo] composed of various precious metals and stones. is made of four precious substances [rin chen sna bzhi las grub pa ri’i rgyal po ri rab]: silver in the east [shar dngul]. 6) red pearl [mu tig dmar po]. the buddha field of Buddha Amitābha [’od dpag med]. (5) Forest of Acacia Trees [seng ldeng can]. peas. where animals graze amidst sandalwood trees. They are: (1) the salt lake [tshva’i mtsho]. the king of all mountains. peas [sran ma] and sesame [til] or alternatively: wheat. Visualize beautiful and remote forest clearings [nags tshal gyi mthongs]. beryl [lho vaidurya] in the south.

Buddhist practitioners. I can’t offer them. ‘a misdeed that was left untold’. and imagining that it is actually yours. Tengri Nor [gnam mtsho]. literally. The distinction of being free from misdeeds means that all things that do not belong to an owner are free from negativity [sdig pa med pa]. Thinking. Think of all the treasures and works of art. “Because they don’t belong to me. All that is kept secret and not confessed will not be purified. its karmic fruition will eventually ripen. the sublime saṃgha. Tibet’s four great and famous lakes [grags pa’i mtsho chen bzhi] are: Manasarovar [mtsho ma pham]. Text sections 85 / stanza 6: Offer all that was discussed above by mentally creating it. I offer all this to the sublime dharma. Visualize all beautiful objects. ‘something that has not reached the mouth’. Violating a natural law means commiting any of the ten non-virtuous actions [mi dge ba bcu]. their clothes and ornaments come from the wish-fulfilling tree [dpag bsam gyi shing] and the noble vase [bum pa bzang po]. ‘a misdeed that has been kept secret’. Whatever they think of or wish for manifests instantaneously. It is said that the people from the northern continent Kurava eat wild rice which is not ploughed or sown. a continent mentioned in Indian legend and cosmology. Misdeeds are of two types: ‘misdeeds of violating a natural law’ [rang bzhin gyi kha na ma tho ba] and ‘misdeeds of breaking an established rule’ [bcas pa’i sdig pa]. I offer all this to his heart sons. You may offer all the merit and goodness that exists in all infinite world systems to the Buddha.” Offerings that do not belong to an owner have the special distinction of faultlessness or ‘the special distinction of being free from misdeeds’ [kha na ma tho ba med pa’i khyad par]. swim majestically and sing melodious songs in the most beautiful voices.170 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Text sections 83-84 / stanza 5: Offer beautiful lakes and pools adorned with lotuses where various water birds. Do not think. which dwells in the mind of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. the bodhisattvas. like the rule against monks eating after noon. Remaining a misdeed. arhats. must confess all their misdeeds by admitting them openly and spelling them out. moon and sparkling stars. think of good-looking men and women. just like the riches of the northern continent Kurava [byang sgra mi snyan]. and pratyekabuddhas to the three jewels. as they cannot be the object of quarrels. Breaking an established rule refers to breaking rules that were created by the Buddha for the saṃgha. You may even offer the Buddha. The term ‘misdeed’ [kha na ma tho ba] actually means ‘an unreported misdeed’. Imagine sun. “I offer all this to the supreme among all humans. Offer everything that does not belong to an owner. everything that exists within the infinite reaches of space. wild geese and swans. to the sublime Buddha Śākyamuni. bodhisattvas. All this I offer with heartfelt devotion and in the most . Yardrok [yar ’brog mtsho] and Kokonor [mtsho sngon po]. dharma and saṃgha. particularly monks.

What is the special compassion unique to the bodhicitta motivation? With compassion one focuses on benefiting others [snying rjes gzhan don la dmigs pa] through the steadfast resolve: “I will free all beings from suffering. Often. Great compassionate ones. Our mind is still following the object and we continue to try to control how it is handled. Our attachment to something that we have given away shows that we have not really disowned it. He knows that the . while absolute bodhicitta.” This is the compassion aspect of the bodhicitta motivation. the purpose of presenting these offerings that do not belong to an owner is to reduce one’s clinging to objects.” Visualize that the three jewels actually accept your offerings with great delight and that they shower you with their blessings. then. Relative bodhicitta is the wish to liberate all sentient beings from suffering and to establish them on the level of perfect enlightenment. however. We make offerings and pray so that the precious bodhicitta will be born in our minds.” Relative bodhicitta is conceptual compassion and conceptual knowledge. This is the most noble of all thoughts as it combines compassion and knowledge. we continue to worry about whether our gift is being treated with the proper respect and used as we intended. self-existing wisdom [rang byung ye shes]. please accept my offering and consider me with your great kindness so that the precious bodhicitta takes birth in my mind for the sake of all sentient beings. In Tibet there is a saying: “Once the torma has been thrown out. You totally disown anything you could possibly become attached to by offering it to the three jewels. means totally disowning it. The bodhisattva knows why beings must be liberated from suffering and he knows what will liberate them—the dharma. your concern about it must cease.” If you really know how to disown what you offer. Whether or not the recipient treats your gift with respect or throws it away is no longer your concern. Knowledge [shes rab] here means the knowledge of the infinite suffering of beings as well as the knowledge of the qualities of the three jewels. one’s clinging to the existence of phenomena [chos kyi bdag ’dzin]. We might have given the object away. is the knowledge aspect of the bodhicitta motivation? With knowledge one focuses on perfect enlightenment [shes rab kyis rdzogs byang la dmigs pa] through the similar resolve: “I will establish all sentient beings on the level of perfect enlightenment. Truly giving something away. Understand bodhicitta in two ways: in its aspect of compassion [snying rje] and in its aspect of knowledge [shes rab]. is nonconceptual compassion and non-conceptual wisdom-knowledge.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 171 excellent way to the three jewels. then making offerings becomes a supreme means of gathering merit. In particular. Such knowledge always inherently contains compassion. What. when we give someone a precious gift. In general the practice of making offerings is designed to loosen up attachment and also to gather the accumulation of merit [bsod nams kyi tshogs]. it makes no difference if it’s eaten by dogs or birds. but we have severed neither our attachment [chags pa] to it nor our fixation [’dzin pa] on it. you should not think about it any longer. The moment you offer or give something away. truly offering something. Once you have given something away.

He knows that ego-clinging is a momentary concept [glo bur gyi rnam rtog].” is based on ego-clinging. he need not be on guard.172 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations root of all suffering is clinging to an ego. “I offer them in an excellent way” [legs par] means with faith [dad pa] and respect [gus pa]. who is able to perform the activities of body. or the ‘three-fold way of being unguarded’ [bsrung ba med pa rnam gsum]. he has nothing to hide [sbas pa med pa]. we will make mistakes. Therefore. an object offered to. the capable one [thub pa]. The Buddha has no basis for making mistakes [nor ba’i rgyu med] since his activities of body. There are four special distinctions [khyad par] concerning all offerings that do not have an owner: (1) The special distinction concerning the amount [grangs kyi khyad par] of these offerings is that one may offer all that exists within the reaches of space. . As the Buddha does not have the slightest defect [skyon] in body. speech and mind. He understands the necessity of liberation for all beings including himself. He understands that he and all beings are caught up in delusion. The bodhisattva has the knowledge of egolessness. with the purity of the three factors [’khor gsum rnam dag]. (3) The special distinction concerning the presentation of [sbyor ba’i khyad par] these offerings is that they are ‘created mentally’ [blo yis blangs nas]. The statement. We ordinary people must be on guard when we act. the offerings are unlimited. ‘Unguarded’ [bsrung ba med pa]. and he understands that the ceaseless perpetuation of this momentary thought. from suffering. If one wishes to liberate only oneself from suffering. of buddha nature. speech and mind without being on guard. The thought. The way to offer [’bul ba’i tshul] all the various offerings listed in the root text is by creating them mentally [blo yis blangs nas]. nor need he pay conscious attention [gzab gzab med pa] to his actions. that attitude is not bodhicitta. with this kind of attitude a practitioner will not be able to free his mind. If we are not careful. this momentary clinging to an ego. he naturally has the wish to free beings [bsgral ’dod gyi blo] from the delusion of ego-clinging. he need not be shy [’dzem pa med pa] in front of others. Text section 86 / stanza 6: The Buddha is called the Muni. and the act of offering. Muni means ‘able to do’ [byed thub pa]. “I want to be free. He understands that ‘ego’ or ‘identity’ ultimately does not exist. speech and mind are utterly perfect. Bodhicitta means to know why all beings must be liberated and to feel compassion for them. (4) The special distinction concerning the object [zhing gi khyad par] of offering is that all these are presented to the three jewels. As he is utterly free from any defects. stealing and the like. Wishing to attain liberation only for oneself shows continued involvement in ego-clinging. The ‘purity of the three factors’ means freedom from fixation on a subject who offers. refers to the qualities of the Buddha. Buddha performs his activities naturally [rang bzhin gyis]. (2) The special distinction concerning the faultlessness [kha na ma tho ba med pa’i khyad par] of these offerings is that they are not acquired through negativity such as killing. causes beings infinite suffering.

page 445. you will still receive a great benefit. by offering all the wonderful things that we can imagine to exist in the world. Text sections 88-89 / stanza 7: “My offerings are small as I am destitute of merit. .58 On another occasion. His wisdom body is beyond time. 59 See mdzangs blun. Then he predicted that a hundred years after the Buddha’s nirvāṇa. the Buddha. a pure motivation and mind are most important.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 173 Text section 87 / stanza 6: The three jewels are the sacred recipients of gifts [yon gnas dam pa]. a few children were playing when the Buddha walked by. and establish them on the level of perfect buddhahood. free all beings from suffering. But please accept these offerings for my own sake [bdag gi don slad du]. If you present a mentally created offering to the Buddha with heartfelt devotion. We have the oppurtunity to easily gain great merit by presenting offerings to the Buddha. practicing the six transcendental perfections and so forth. performing the ten virtuous actions [dge ba bcu].” Thus. one child thought. this child would become the dharma king Aśoka [chos rgyal mya ngan med].” He placed a handful of sand on a stone and presented it to the Buddha. we can still make perfect offerings.59 This reveals the power of a pure motivation or intent when making offerings to the purest object. so that I may generate bodhicitta in my mind. Not everyone is a perfect recipient of gifts. beyond proximity and distance. you will gain inconceivable merit. “I should offer some food to the Buddha. pages 252-255. When presenting offerings. The supreme way of gathering merit is presenting offerings. and allowed the child to throw a handful of sand in his begging bowl. buddhas and bodhisattvas. Later. but the three jewels can receive any offerings and remain uncorrupted. Once a merchant [tshong dpon] called Udākarika offered seven peas [sran rdog bdun] to Buddha Vipaśyin [sangs rgyas rnam gzigs] and put them in his begging bowl. name of a king (fourth story of Kalpalatā). The Buddha accepted the offering. In this context Khenpo Kunpal quotes from the ‘Sūtra of Recollecting the Three Jewels’ [dkon mchog gsum rjes su dran pa’i mdo]: “They are the perfect recipients of gifts” [yon yongs su sbyong ba chen po]. Then. Merit is gathered through virtuous conduct. as taught above. speech and mind. The moment they saw the Buddha. It does not matter that Buddha is no longer physically present in this world. See Heaven Tree pages 19-22. he became the world monarch known as King Māndhāta [mi dbang nga las nu]. accept these offerings with the inconceivable and miraculous power of your body. even if you present the Buddha with only a small offering. 58 nga las nu [māndhāta]. even if we are poor and lack the perfect offering substances. Please.

Through the practice of presenting offerings that have an owner. you train in the antidote to clinging to a subject.” When you gather the accumulations and purify the obscurations. and a charismatic confidence [spobs pa] is born. the two obscurations are naturally purified. Present offerings with the thought. Clinging to objects [chos kyi bdag ’dzin] is the root of the obscuration of cognition [shes bya’i sgrib pa]. you train in the antidote to clinging to an object. becomes easy. we become more and more capable of pacifying all disharmonious situations. As it is said: As far as the ultimate. is concerned. non-conceptual wisdom. Because we did not present many offerings in former lifetimes we are destitute of merit in this life and might lack material wealth. is the root of the obscuration of afflictions [nyon mongs kyi sgrib pa]. the merit is equal to presenting it to him in person. purify the two obscurations and generate the precious bodhicitta in my mind. the co-emergent wisdom. don dam lhan cig skyes pa’i ye shes ni tshogs bsags sgrib pa dag pa’i lag rjes dang dpal ldan bla ma’i byin rlabs kho na las thabs gzhan brten pa rmongs par shes par bya As you gather the two accumulations. The accumulation of conceptual merit [dmigs bcas bsod nams kyi tshogs] belongs to the category of relative truth. Even if you simply visualize the Buddha and present offerings to him. The main point is to present the offering with sincere joy and devotion. we have no choice other than to present offerings that do not belong to an owner. Our minds become relaxed. please accept with your great love and kindness this offering. As we gather the accumulations of merit. When the mind has gained this charismatic confidence. Therefore. which includes everything beautiful and worthy to offer that exists in this world. while the accumulation of non-conceptual wisdom [dmigs med ye shes kyi tshogs] belongs to the category of absolute truth. As well as the blessings of the glorious root guru. “In order that I may gather the two accumulations. Presenting offerings cannot by . which is the accumulation of wisdom.174 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The merit and benefit of having presented an offering to the Buddha in person two thousand five hundred years ago and presenting an offering nowadays to a stūpa containing his relics or remains is totally equal. Through the practice of presenting offerings that do not have an owner. Know that it is foolish to rely upon any methods other than Practices for gathering the accumulations and purifying obscurations. holding on to a personal identity [gang zag gi bdag ’dzin]. Gathering the accumulation of merit gathers the causes for recognizing wisdom. realization of wisdom will dawn. Clinging to a subject. recognition of the absolute truth. Buddha’s wisdom body pervades all time and space. He will at all times and at all places accept a heartfelt offering.

The task of a bodhisattva is to free all beings from suffering . Buddha is called the Victor [rgyal ba] because he is victorious over the four māras [bdud bzhi]. we offer our present body and the bodies of all future lifetimes to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. their servant [g. Avalokiteśvara [spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug]. This requires courage. The true and heartfelt interest of a buddha is to help sentient beings. Our body is very close to us and we therefore treasure it greatly.yog po]. The ‘sons of the Victor’ [rgyas sras] are the great bodhisattvas such as the ‘Three Lords of the Families’ [rigs gsum mgon po]: Mañjuśri [’jam dpal dbyangs]. A true bodhisattva would rather die than harm any being. How does a bodhisattva achieve such courage [dpa’]. but it does reduce clinging. As bodhisattva trainees. the four evil ones. A buddha does not in fact need any servants because buddhas are the servants of all beings. We need not offer our bodies from past lives as they have turned into corpses and have already decomposed. which are: the māra of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i bdud]. Only non-conceptual wisdom can truly destroy subject-object clinging. that kind of courage cannot arise. and the māra of the skandhas [phung po’i bdud]. we should try not to harm any being in the slightest and. The bodhisattvas are called ‘heroic beings’ [sems dpa’] because they are unafraid of remaining in saṃsāra to liberate all sentient beings from suffering.” is the attitude of the bodhisattvas. Beg them to accept you as their subject [’bangs]. To cut through this attachment. That kind of attitude delights the buddhas. “I am the servant of all sentient beings.” is a very noble thought. Even while still dwelling in saṃsāra. I will do it. and you will not fear remaining in saṃsāra to serve them.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 175 itself destroy subject-object clinging. The perfect Buddha has only one function—to serve all beings. To delight the buddhas. and Vajrapāṇi [phyay na rdo rje]. non-dual bodhicitta [gnyis su med pa byang chub sems]. we must try to help them whenever we can. As long as one clings to ego. To have the attitude. Beg the buddhas and bodhisattvas to accept the offering of your body. Text sections 91-92 / stanza 9: Not only shall I become the servant of all buddhas and bodhisattvas. “Whatever work they give me or is needed. in addition. but I shall also become the servant of all sentient beings. Text section 90 / stanza 8: We are attached to what is close to us and are not attached to what is distant. we have no attachment to them. All you think about is benefiting others in manifold ways. you will not shy away from helping beings. which means procrastination. the māra of death [’chi bdag gi bdud]. heroism [dpa’ bo] or charismatic certainty [spobs pa]? A bodhisattva achieves these qualities through the realization of egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa]. the māra of the son of the gods [lha’i bu yi bdud]. you must become the servant of all beings.

which is to help all sentient beings. is irrelevant. It is not easy. if you continue to commit negative deeds [sdig pa] such as the ten nonvirtuous actions [mi dge ba bcu]. Having offered yourself to the Buddha and become his servant. He has not the slightest bias toward tenth level bodhisattvas. When you offer your body to the Buddha. you become an embarrassment to the Buddha. This is a very meritorious training for Mahāyāna practitioners. who should actually dedicate their body. “I confess and lay open all my previous misdeeds and promise to commit no further misdeeds in the future. A practitioner who really commits to the Buddha like this. Offering one’s body means promising to use your body in all future lifetimes as a vehicle to serve the Buddha. you promise to confess all your negative deeds [sdig pa]. speech and mind repeatedly to the service of all sentient beings as an offering to the Buddha.176 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations and to establish them on the level of complete buddhahood. You promise to listen to whatever the Buddha teaches and to follow his teaching. Even as a beginner. and then gradually build the habit of giving. The Buddha has no preferences at all. changing his character in body. However. Challenged beginners should start by giving away something that lacks value or is of little value. from miserable beings in the hell realms to tenth level bodhisattvas. I will serve all sentient beings to the best of my abilities. Whether or not you can actually do this right now. to lessen their suffering and to establish them in the state of complete enlightenment. you offer your mind and your speech as well. is truly a special person. Some beginning practitioners may find it difficult to give even ordinary items away much less consider offering their body. he teaches tenth level bodhisattvas differently from beings in the hell realms. “This is what I promise to the Buddha. This idea of offering one’s body to the Buddha inspires fear or discomfort in many people. do not be intimidated about promising to help and serve all beings.” Furthermore. He opens up the minds of all beings. The mere thought. Make this promise and commitment to the Buddha personally. . The Buddha himself has no function other than to serve and help beings. and you swear not to repeat them again. to further their happiness. since the Buddha teaches all beings according to their capacity. speech and mind. serving the greatest bodhisattva and the lowest being equally. speech and mind. A bodhisattva is not afraid to remain in saṃsāra to accomplish that purpose.” Commit yourself to being an utterly good person. “I will liberate all sentient beings from the infinite suffering of saṃsāra and establish them on the level of complete enlightenment” carries inconceivable merit. without making any distinction. That thought and a sincere attitude lead to the gathering of merit. You also understand what the Buddha really wants. This mere thought brings with it the same merit as actually liberating all beings from the bonds of saṃsāra. as a bodhisattva you need that thought. will grant you supreme protection [bsrung ba rnams kyi mchog]. Offering your body to the Buddha and becoming his subject. Therefore.

the perfectly enlightened one. Tantric practitioners thus perceive all sentient beings as buddhas and train in pure perception and devotion to all buddha-like beings. who serve sentient beings from compassion but not necessarily with pure perception. This tantric attitude differs from the service attitude of the bodhisattvas. To purify the stains [dri ma] and obscurations [sgrib pa] of their body. Such an attitude must first be understood in theory [go ba]. they have not yet realized their essence. and finally realized [rtogs pa]. Engrossed in negativity [sdig pa] and obscurations [sgrib pa]. speech and mind. the ‘one gone to (the natural state) as it is’ [de bzhin gshegs pa]. but are mere delusions. ‘Gone’ [gshegs pa] connotes ’having arrived at’. the buddha nature. Text sections 94-96 / stanza 10: In ancient India offering water for guests to wash hands and feet was considered a courtesy. even and perfectly flat [bstar legs pa]. These floors are unstained. Imagine that they are filled with sweet fragrances of sandalwood. The foundations of the pavilions are composed of crystals in five colors. a practitioner serves buddhas and beings equally. however. he is able to help others realize the same view. As he himself has realized without any error the ‘the natural state as it is’ [chos nyid de bzhin nyid]. but at this point in the visualization they are stopped with plugs. then experienced [myong ba]. not of relative bodhicitta. arranged like a great mosaic. Holes in the foor of the pavilions allow the water to drain. Serving the Buddha and all sentient beings in the same manner is based not on compassion [snying rje] but on knowledge [shes rab] and pure perception [dag snang]. A buddha is someone who has reached the highest . camphor and so on. Visualize various thrones and seats of precious materials around the sides of the pavilions. Offering of one’s body to serve the buddhas and all beings is a characteristic of relative bodhicitta. The buddha nature of a completely enlightened buddha and the buddha nature of a tiny insect is in no way different. Text sections 97-98 / stanza 11: The Buddha is the Tathāgata. This is the view of ultimate bodhicitta. On top of it short pillars support a roof to shade the bathing buddhas from the sun. offering a bathing ritual [khrus]. and his entourage of bodhisattvas to enter. Visualize one or many bathing pavilions in the sky in front of you. practitioners may extend this courtesy to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. truly exist. since all are endowed with the buddha nature. Four pillars stand in the four directions of each bathing pavilion and each pavilion has a waist high wall to hold the water. The tantric view considers that all beings are primordially buddhas. The roof is decorated with a wish-fulfilling jewel as the crowning pinnacle. These negativities and obscurations do not.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 177 In the tantric tradition. Then invite the Buddha. In the center of each pavilion is a platform.

and are clothed in transparent white bathing garments. nirvāṇa. gang tshe rkang gnyis gtso bo khyod bltams tshe / sa chen ’di la gom pa bdun bor nas / nga ni ’jig rten ’di na mchog ces gsungs / de tshe mkhas pa khyod la phyag ’tshal lo / Some offering goddesses offer beautiful dances while others play musical instruments. Text sections 100-102 / stanza 12 Having been bathed. the local deities [gzhi bdag]. He took seven steps on this great earth And exclaimed. demons.” I pay respect to you.178 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations level of bliss. the bodies of the buddhas and bodhisattvas must be dried with well-scented towels. liberation. visualize that the towels transform into red light and dissolve into the space between the eyebrows of yourself and all sentient beings. The Sanskrit term kāśika or kāśikā refers to valuable textile products from Benares. After the Buddha and the bodhisattvas have arrived at the pavillions. purifying all negative deeds and obscurations. hang them over the railings. . ogres and ogresses.60 Next. Some of the goddesses offer melodious songs of praise like the ‘Short Praise of the Ten Deeds of the Buddha’. enlightenment or buddhahood. other offering goddesses entertain them. the plugs are removed from the bathing pavilions. All diseases of humans and animals are eradicated. which begins: At the time when the supreme one among humans was born. and a fine rain of divine bath water showers down on oneself and all sentient beings. granting blessings and 60 Kāśi is the old name for Benares (Vārāṇasī). made from the most precious and priceless materials such as the cloth of the gods [lha’i gos] or fine Benares silk [ras kā śi ka]. Text section 99: After the Buddha and the bodhisattvas have bathed. At the same time the evil and harmful intentions of the deities of the area [yul lha]. “In this world I am the supreme one. and the precious bodhicitta is born in everyone’s mind. These are the benefits of offering bathing to the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. who were at this time already wise. Visualize many offering goddesses pouring water from precious vases over the bodies of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. disease-causing demons [nad bdag] and so forth are pacified. While the offering goddesses bathe the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. ‘Gone’ also connotes ‘realization’ [rtogs pa] and ‘knowledge’ [mkhyen pa]. they remove their monk robes.

saṃghāṭi]. When lay people see a well-dressed and well-behaved monk. the first is the monk’s ‘lower robe’ [mthang gos. they need to wear the two cloaks. skr. you offer blue. Of these. they must wear the cloak stitched from a few patches [rnam sbyar]. wears the robes of an ordained monk. When the monks celebrate the bi-monthly poṣadha ceremony [gso sbyong gi cho ga]. such as the Buddha. Monks must dress properly. At least every morning before dawn when he awakes. This particular cloak is worn on top of the former cloak only on special occasions.61 the three-fold robes [chos gos rnam gsum. he must put all three of them on his body and wear them for a few minutes.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 179 accomplishments. skr. when the Prātimokṣa-sūtra is recited. Fully ordained monks wear this on top of their shawls [gzan]. he has committed an infraction of his precepts. a monk who dresses in showy manner and behaves strangely causes the laity to develop doubts about the saṃgha. The third is the yellow cloak stitched from one hundred and twenty-five patches and is called the ‘patched robe’ [snam byar. and every evening before he goes to bed. Conversely. During the main part [dngos gzhi]. pages 137-139 . During this ceremony they recite the Prātimokṣa-sūtra. To all the nirmāṇakāya manifestations. Text sections 103-104 / stanza 13 Following this. Poṣadha [gso sbyong] literally means ‘repairing and purifying’ and is the principal ceremony for ordained Buddhist monks and nuns to purify any breakage of precepts and restore their purity of ordination. It is worn only by fully ordained monks. pages 137 62 See Ethics. The second is the yellow cloak stitched from only a few patches known as the ‘upper robe’ [chos gos / bla gos. Imagine that you and all beings have attained all the qualities and wisdom of these enlightened beings. uttarāsaðga]. and thus becomes a cause for people to accumulate demerit. they feel inspired and devoted to the three jewels and thus gain merit. Buddha said that if someone pretends to be a ordained monk. skr. A fully ordained monk must always have these three-fold robes with him. skr. you present the Buddha and the bodhisattvas with new sets of robes. antarvāsa] that is stitched from many patches. thus re-establishing their virtue [dge ba gso] and purifying their misdeeds [sdig pa sbyong]. tri-cīvara]62 of monks and nuns. A welldressed and well-behaved monk is always an encouragement and reminder for the laity to practice virtue. lives in a monastery and eats monastery food without having 61 See Ethics. That is the benefit of drying the bodies of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. even if he does not wear them all. This cloak is worn only when practicing the dharma. red and yellow ordination garments. At the beginning [sbyor ba] of the ceremony they wear the cloak stitched from many patches [chos gos]. If he fails to do this.

monks can own a few minor possessions to sustain their livelihood [’tsho ba’i yo byad phren tshegs] such as: a hat [zhva]. shoes [lham] and shoelaces [lham sgrog].64 63 For further details see Buddhist Ethics. Only during the rainy season did they stay in the gardens and monasteries that sponsors had donated for this purpose. pages 137-139. the code of precepts. 7) the night sweat cloth [rngul gzan gyi gzan]. Monks at that time lived solely by begging alms and accumulated no personal property. which is worn under the lower robes 5) the night under skirt [sham thabs kyi gzan]. 2) ‘Monastic possessions’ are the personal property of monks as well as the communal property of the saṃgha. 1) The ‘possessions necessary for livelihood’ refer to the thirteen garments monks need to maintain their bodies as well as to the abovementioned six basic possessions [yo byad drug]. 8) the bathing towel [gdon phyis]. Their personal property was reduced to the ‘six basic possessions’ [yo byad drug]: 1-3) the three-fold monk’s robes [chos gos rnam gsum]. allows monks to have three types of possessions [yo byad gsum]: 1) possessions necessary for livelihood [’tsho ba’i yo byad].yan dgab]. In particular. and a box in which to store possessions [gtur ba ste chos gos kyi shubs sam yo byad rnams ’jug snod]. 6) the sweat cloth [rngul gzan]. 64 This property is called ‘black property’ [’khor nag po] because the consequences of using it without authorization or misusing it are so dire. According the vinaya the ‘thirteen possessions necessary for livelihood’ [’tsho ba’i yo byad bcu gsum] include: 1) the yellow cloak stitched from many sections called the ‘patched robe’ [rnam sbyar]. Therefore. The personal property of monks [sger gi ’khor] and the communal property of the saṃgha [dge ’dun spyi’i ’khor] are considered extremely sensitive and perilous. a belt [ske rags]. and 3) additional possessions [lhag pa’i yo byad]. he commits a greater crime than if he had committed the ten non-virtuous actions for ten years. 9) gauze fro wounds [rnag gzan]. worn on top of the monk’s petticoat.63 In addition. The monks regard these possessions for livelihood as personal property. Monks at the time of the Buddha were all mendicants. 3) the monk’s shirt stitched from many sections known as the ‘lower robe’ [mthang gos]. a knee cover used by meditators [spong ba bsam gtan pa’i pus ’khyud]. 10) the flannel to relieve skin rash [g. 11) the sheet to collect hair when shaving [skra gzed]. 2) monastic possessions [’khor ba’i yo byad]. . 4) the begging bowl [lhung bzed]. and 13) the rainy season cloak [dbyar gyi gos ras chen]. The vinaya. 12) the mat (sitting blanket) [gding ba]. only someone who has taken monk’s precepts is allowed to use the thirteen possessions of (ordained) livelihood. 5) a water filter [chu tshags] and 6) a mat (sitting blanket) [gding ba]. 4) the under skirt [sham thabs]. 2) the yellow cloak stitched from a few sections known as the ‘upper robe’ [bla gos]. monastic property should never be used by the laity.180 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations received any of the monks’ vows. a bag for their robes.

vaidurya] and other (stones). The monks must treat all these additional possessions as communal property [thun mong gi yin pa / spyi’i ’khor]. 5) the short necklace [se mo do]. The five silk garments and the eight precious ornaments combined are called ‘the thirteen saṃbhogakāya ornaments’ [longs spyod rdzogs pa’i rgyan bcu gsum]. the five silk garments [dar gyi chos gos lnga]: 1) the dance jacket [gar gyi phu dung] that has the power to ignite the bliss of meditation in the body. the bodhisattvas. Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. 2) the top [stod g. Remaining in contact with his teacher. When a beginning bodhisattva has received the bodhisattva precepts from his teacher. Text section 105: The term offerings of enjoyments [nyer mchod] refers to things that one normally requires for rituals and daily use. The benefit of offering ornaments to the bodhisattvas is the attainment of the major marks and minor signs for oneself and all other sentient beings. The monks must treat all such additional possessions as though they actually belonged to someone else [gzhan gyi yin pa]. butter lamps and the like. 6) the bracelets [phyag gdub]. 4) the tiara made of various kinds of silk [dar sna tshogs kyi cod pan]. Maitreya [byams pa] and Samantabhadra [kun tu bzang po].yogs] with golden design [gser gyi ngang ris can]. One next offers the eight precious ornaments [rin po che’i rgyan brgyad]: 1) the jewel crown [dbu rgyan] ornamented with clusters of beryl [skr. the beginning bodhisattva will also develop a sense of embarrassment and scruples with regard to his behavior that will prevent him from breaking his precepts. he will develop a sense of personal shame that will prevent him from breaking his precepts. As described above you may offer bathing. drying and clothing to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three times or just to Buddha Śākyamuni. Additional possessions also include items given to the monks by sponsors which the monks may not need. and 8) the belt [ske rag]. Ākāśagarbha [nam mkha’i snying po]. the most important ones are the eight great bodhisattvas or the ‘eight great close sons’ [nye ba’i sras chen brgyad]: Mañjuśrī [’jam dbyangs]. such as incense. Kṣitigarbha [sa yi snying po]. 3) the throat ornament [mgul rgyan]. and 5) ribbons [zi ldir]. 4) the long necklace [do shal]. the eight great bodhisattvas and the sixteen elders. The benefit of offering clothing to the Buddha and bodhisattvas is that one is thus endowed with a sense of shame in regard to oneself [rang ngo la ngo tsha] and a sense of embarrassment in front of others [gzhan ngo la khrel yod pa]. Such offerings are . 2) the earrings [snyan rgyan]. 7) the anklets [zhabs gdub]. Among the infinite bodhisattvas. One next offers the saṃbhogakāya manifestations. Sarvanīvaraṇaviṣkambhī [sgrib pa thams cad rnam par sel ba]. A silk shawl [dpyang bgrang] can be substituted for the dance jacket.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 181 3) The ‘additional possessions’ are items such as shrine objects and so on that are needed only occasionally. 3) the multi-colored leggings [tshi gu’i smad dkris]. Avalokiteśvara [spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug].

the same term can also be translated as ‘the fearless world system’. the same term can be translated as the ‘inseparable world system’. tri-sāhasra-mahāsāhasro loka-dhātuḥ]. According to yet another explanation. Myriad Worlds. Above Mount Sumeru begin the god realms. . sahalokadhātu] and is the sphere of influence and activities of one nirmāṇakāya buddha. Mount Sumeru. Illuminator. ours is Jambudvīpa. which means 1. One single world system consists of the central mountain. and Prince Jiṇ-Gim’s Textbook. located to the south of Mount Sumeru. skr. skr. One thousand ‘middle order of a thousand world systems’ make ‘the large order of a thousand world systems’ [stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum pa. also called ‘the third order. The Abhidharma-koṣa-kārikā describes this cosmology in the following way.182 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations to be made on a vast scale. skr. which means a thousand to the power of two or one million separate world systems. sentient beings are not afraid of afflictions [nyon mongs par mi skrag pa] as they do not fear the consequences of their actions. Text section 106 / stanza 14: Concerning the ‘offering of anointing’ [byug pa ’bul ba]. Of the four main continents. Based on another explanation. in our case. as well as the sun and the moon. four main continents and eight subcontinents. which extend up to the most subtle realms of the god Brahmā. ‘Fearless’ [mi skrag pa’am zhed snang med pa] refers to the fact that in this cosmos of the ‘third order of a thousand world systems’. dvi-sāhasra / stong gnyis pa’i jig rten gyi khams]. the ‘Rose Apple Continent’. Buddha Śākyamuni. since in this world sentient beings cannot separate from their karma and afflictions [’jig rten gyi khams ’di na sems can rnams kyi rgyud la las dang nyon mongs pa dbyed ba mjed du mi nus pa]. One thousand ‘lesser order of a thousand world systems’ constitute ‘the middle order of a thousand world systems’ [stong bar ma’i ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the second order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gnyis pa.000 to the power of one. the larger order of one thousand world systems’ [stong gsum gyi stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi khams. which means a thousand to the power of three or one billion separate word systems—a trichiliocosm. you visualize offering goddesses anointing the Buddha and the bodhisattvas with sweetly scented water 65 For further details see Buddhist Cosmology. The sum of ‘a thousand single world systems’ is called ‘the first order of a thousand world systems’ [stong dang po / stong dang po’i jig rten gyi khams / stong spyi phud kyi ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the lesser order of a thousand world systems’ [stong chung ngu’i ’jig rten gyi khams]. tri-sāhasra]. conventionally described in Buddhist literature in accordance with the vastness of Indian cosmology.65 Our cosmos of a ‘third order of a thousand world systems’ is called the ’world system of endurance’ [mi mjed ’jig rten gyi khams.

Monks who have truly kept their vows throughout their lives. canopies. Imagine that a rain of flowers descends and is carried by the wind to the buddhas of the ten directions. 2. Imagine that this wonderful scent pervades everywhere and is carried by the winds to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas in the ten directions. One imagines tossing into the sky flowers which turn into beautiful houses. 3. actually carry a special scent that pervades their surroundings. The enlightened factor of correct investigation of phenomena [chos rab du rnam par 'byed pa yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag]. A monk with this . flags. 4. Text section 107 / stanza 15: Next are offered beautiful flowers from the realms of the gods. banners. They anoint and rub them with medicinal substances so that their bodies glow. Visualize beautiful garlands of sweet-smelling flowers. streamers. said to be enchanting and endowed with the most marvelous fragrance. The Tibetans call this the ‘odor of (monastic) discipline’ [tshul khrims kyi dri ma] and it results from great purity. nāgas and humans. beginning from the time when they entered into the monastery as children. The enlightened factor of correct concentration [ting nge ’dzin yan dag byang chub kyi yan lag]. The enlightened factor of correct pliancy [shin tu sbyangs pa yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 183 from precious vessels made of jewels and precious materials such as conch shell and the like. 5. Offer all this to the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. These include the māndāravā flower. They anoint the bodies of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas so that the thirty major marks and the eighty minor signs of the buddhas shine like refined gold. The enlightened factor of correct equanimity [btang snyoms yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag]. Imagine that the fragrance of these substances permeates the whole the entirty of the ‘thrid order of a thousand world systems’. The enlightened factor of correct mindfulness [dran pa yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag]. 7. 6. These seven factors of enlightenment are: 1. imagining that heaps of flowers of the seven factors of enlightenment [byang chub kyi yan lag bdun] bloom in the minds of yourself and all sentient beings. The enlightened factor of correct joy [dga’ ba yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag]. Visualize yourself and all sentient beings endowed with the scent of discipline. Text section 108 / stanza 16: The flower offering is followed by the offering of incense and fragrant substances such as white and red sandalwood and others. either natural or manufactured. maṇḍalas and so forth. The enlightened factor of correct effort [brtson ’grus yang dag byang chub kyi yan lag].

Imagine that each lamp. 3) a noble pavilion [khang bzang]. imagine the whole world to be covered with heaps of lotuses arranged in rows that hold lamps of various precious substances. 5) a garden [tshal]. The divine or royal delicacies [lha bshod] are offering tormas. Make the aspiration that all beings may be firm in their bodhicitta resolve. brown sugar [bu ram] and honey [sbrang rtsi]. Text sections 113-115 / stanza 18 Immense and beautiful palaces with hundreds of levels. which are like cakes. In making this offering.66 is filled with a vast ocean of butter and holds a wick the size of Mount Sumeru. palaces that float within space. At the end make the aspiration that through this lamp offering the ignorance of all beings be dispelled and omniscient wisdom perception illuminate the minds of all.184 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations special odor has no thoughts of desire.000 to the power of three. 2) a hide [pags la]. as well as the three sweet substances [mngar gsum]: white rock sugar [shel ka ra]. 4) garments [gos]. milk [’o ma] and butter [mar]. The interior rooms contain everything one could need or desire such as the seven secondary precious things [nye ba’i rin po che sna bdun]: 1) a sword [ral khri]. lovely water birds float on the ponds. Text section 116 / stanza 19 66 The ‘third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum] means 1. illuminating everything. anointed with perfumes and scattered over with infinite beautiful flowers. Text sections 110-112 / stanza 17 Next. even in dreams. Make the aspiration that all sentient beings may reach the level of liberation. Imagine all of space to be filled with palaces. You offer the three white substances [dkar gsum]: yogurt [zho]. which equals one billion single world systems. inhabited by offering goddesses who present all kinds of offerings to the buddhas and bodhisattvas are offered next. 6) a seat [mal sa]. . whose light reaches into the infinity of space. imagine that you and all beings have attained the nourishment of samādhi. as large as the entirety of the ‘third order of a thousand world systems’. All these palaces are illuminated by precious lamps. Text section 109 / stanza 16: Next is offered food that has one hundred flavors which can be experienced simultaneously. Imagine the world as a pure and level floor. Imagine the palaces as perfect mansions. Outside. Following this is the offering of flowers. and 7) shoes [lham]. in beautiful gardens. since his mind is utterly free from desire [chags sems].

the offering of bathing and the offering of enjoyments. It can speak to humans. Do not belittle these different kinds of offerings. Visualize them in brief moments again and again. has magical qualities. horses and elephants. The magical horse [rta cang shes]. Through them a 67 See dad pa’i nyin byed. also called the ‘precious and supreme horse’ [rta mchog rin po che]. . The offering of level floors [sa gzhi star ba’i mchod pa] 11. their golden handles held by offering goddesses. this method is called the ‘offering of the bodhisattvas skillful in means’. The offering of anointing with perfumes [dri mchog byug pa’i mchod pa] 6. The offering of garments [nam bza’ ’bul ba] 4. The offering of food [zhal zas kyi mchod pa] 9. The offering of ornaments [rgyan ’bul ba] Second. He taught how to gather the accumulation of merit without any hardship or material wealth. page 512-523. You need not visualize them constantly as when you meditate on a deity. and so forth.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 185 Offer beautiful parasols. The offering of lamps [snang gsal gyi mchod pa] 10. the offering of bathing: 1. The offering of flowers [me tog gi mchod pa] 7. These repeated offerings will generate great benefit. The offering of noble and divine palaces [gzhal med khang bzang gi mchod pa] 12. Therefore. it can run around the world in one day. the offering of enjoyments: 5. Imagine that all beings are relieved of the suffering of the three lower realms.67 ornamented with pearls. simply visualize as much as you can think of. The offering of drying [sku phyis] 3. The offering of parasols [gdugs kyi mchod pa] If you cannot visualize offerings as vast as the entirety of the ‘third order of a thousand world systems’. The offering of bathing [sku khrus gsol ba] 2. The offering of incense [bdug spos kyi mchod pa] 8. Śānitdeva was a yogin of simplicity who lacked physically assembled offerings. They are listed in stanzas ten through nineteen: First. who carry them aloft. Text sections 117-119: The aforementioned ‘twelve mentally created offerings’ [yid sprul gyi mchod pa’i rnam grangs bcu gnyis po] are subdivided into two sections.

339-344 and pages 608-610. give birth to bodhicitta in his mind and so on. This is the first offering (made) through the power of aspirations. Text section 120 / stanza 20 What follows are offerings made through the power of aspirations.186 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations practitioner can achieve all qualities. these imagined offerings can never be misused to serve arrogance and pretentiousness. as material offerings sometimes are. imagined offerings are never acquired through wrong livelihood or negative deeds. As you only imagine these offerings. Moreover. However. These melodious sounds that you offer should be irresistibly beautiful. Make the aspiration that these musical sounds ascend to each of the buddhas continuously for aeons and aeons. .70 The sounds that you offer to the buddhas and bodhisattvas should be so beautiful that upon hearing them. you can offer any of the five sense pleasures as an aspiration so that they become offerings to the buddhas. thus. “May these kinds of ‘cloud banks of offerings’ [mchod pa’i sprin phung]. One of the foremost students of Buddha Śākyamuni was the stern arhat. remember what he has studied. serving to alleviate the suffering of beings. 70 See Heaven Tree. Text sections 121-125 / stanza 21: 68 One billion single world systems. pages 359-366. rtogs brjod rtsa ’grel. meaning multitudes of offerings. The sound of the spirit’s lute was so unbearably beautiful that Mahākāśyapa could not resist dancing. Do not neglect to make daily physical offerings on your shrine due to laziness. although he had attained arhatship. If you have the means and the time. This spirit had the power to assume a human form. then offer according to your means.69 Equally beautiful is the sound of the tambura of the gandharva king Supriya [dri za’i rgyal po rab dga’]. 69 See sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. page 422. other people cannot see them. Material offerings allow inferior people to flaunt their wealth and serve their own arrogance. if you are poor like Śāntideva. Beautiful music has the power to uplift your spirit when you are depressed. the suffering of sentient beings is soothed. Once he heard a spirit called Druma-kiṃnara [mi’am ci’i sdong po] playing the lute [sgra snyan / pi vang]. set up the physical offerings on your shrine. Mahākāśyapa [’od srung chen po]. Imagine beautiful offering goddesses playing various instruments and presenting these offerings to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Music can make you inspired and happy. purify obscurations. gather the accumulations. remain each individually distinct in front of the buddhas” [sangs rgyas rnams kyi sku mdun la so sor gnas par gyur cig]. Make the aspiration that the entirety of the ‘third order of a thousand world systems’68 may be filled with the pleasant and melodious sounds of musical instruments. Likewise.

According to the Buddha’s advice. bhavacakra].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 187 Make the aspiration that a continuous rain of gems [rin po che’i char] and flowers [me tog gi char] as well as a rain of offering substances [mchod rdzas kyi char] such as garments [gos]. Therefore. the Buddha agreed. That is the second offering made through the power of aspiration. Once King Utrāyaṇa sent King Bimbisāra a priceless jeweled coat of armor [nor bu’i khrab rin thang gzhal du med pa]. with the beautiful scent of this tree pervading the whole world. Statues are considered representations of Buddha’s body [sku rten]. . built a stūpa to commemorate his son’s birth in Lumbinī. grains [‘bru]. Varṣākāra [dbyar tshul]. Thus. they had a natural affinity for each other. The first painting of Buddha’s body [sku gzugs la ches snga ba] is known as ‘the painting taken from the water’ [bris sku chu lon ma]. When the artists looked at the Buddha. of his speech and of his mind. Buddha’s father. When the king requested permission from the Buddha. a symbolic representation of the twelve links of interdependent origination [rten ’brel yan lag bcu gnyis] and the six classes of beings [’gro ba rigs drug]. medicinal substances [sman] and so forth may descend on all dharma books. and stūpas are considered representations of his mind [thugs rten]. King Bimbisāra [gzugs can snying po] of Rājagṛha [rgyal po’i khab] and King Utrāyaṇa of Roruka [sgra sgrog]. stūpas and images of the Buddha. the representations of his body. The first symbolic drawing and the first painting are said to have been made during the reigns of two kings. The king’s first minister. the representations of Buddha’s mind are the earliest [ches lnga ba]. Among these. the symbolic drawing of the wheel of life and the ‘painting taken from the water’ were both arranged on a single canvas and sent as a present to King Utrāyaṇa. ornaments [rgyan]. skr. You may also pray to take rebirth as a beautiful sandalwood tree in front of your root guru. skr. This was the very first representation of the Buddha. the Buddha sat beside a pool. advising King Bimbisāra that this picture should contain a representation of the Buddha and below it the wheel of life with a few lines of teachings. All aspirations made with a sincere heart and good motivation will eventually come true. Pray also that beautiful birds settle on this tree and delight your root guru with melodious songs. King Bimbisāra felt compelled to return the favor with an equally valuable present [skyes len]. Although these two kings lived far apart and had never met one another. they were filled with such blissful contentment that they were unable to reproduce Buddha’s magnificence. close to Kapilavastu [ser skya. recommended having a picture of Buddha Śākyamuni painted and sent as a return gift. and a picture was painted from his reflection. it is called ‘the painting taken from the water’. King Śuddhodana [zas gtsang sras]. kapila]. The first drawing [ri mo la ches sna ba] of a Buddhist symbol was the ‘wheel of life’ [srid pa’i ’khor lo. It was their custom to exchange letters and gifts. The Buddha is shown through three types of representations. Buddhist scriptures are considered representations of his speech [gsung rten].

König Von Roruka. and Anānthapiṇḍaka commissioned many statues according to the specifications laid down by the Buddha himself. the first representations of Buddha’s speech were two Buddhist scriptures. skr. From this he gained faith in the Buddha. The Ārya-dhvaja-agrakeyūra-nāma-dhāraṇī [’phags pa rgyal mtshan gyi rtse mo’i dpung rgyan ces bya ba’i gzugs]73 was transcribed and placed in the top of a victory banner [rgyal mtshan]. nirmāṇarati] and 6) the gods with mastery over others’ emanations [gzhan ’phrul dbang byed. the assembly lacked splendor. pages 300-310. skr. and an artist outlined his form. skr. Contemplating on the twelve links of interdependent origination. the Prajñāpāramitā and the Ārya-dhvaja-agrakeyūra-nāmadhāraṇī. skr. during which the Buddha expounded the teachings of transcendent wisdom-knowledge [shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa]. King Utrāyaṇa asked about the figure in the painting. and the written piece of advice. As soon as she saw the painting. 4) the joyful gods [dga’ ldan. pages 44-49 and 452-454. he clearly realized the truth [bden pa mthong ba]. 306 74 See Heaven Tree. yāma]. trayastriṃśa]. Buddha agreed. Other accounts report that the first canvas painting was made at the request of the Singalese princess Muktālatā [mu tig ’khri shing]. King Utrāyaṇa then invited the noble Kātyāyana and an entourage of five hundred monks to his kingdom and had five hundred temples built.72 was said to have been written with liquid blue beryl in a golden book by Śakra [brgya byin]. The stories of the first relief statues [’bur sku] of the Buddha are as follows: Buddha’s great benefactor Anānthapiṇḍaka [mgon med zas sbyin] asked the Buddha for permission to make a statue since he felt that when the Buddha was not present during the monks’ mid-day meal. dad pa’i nyin byed. dad pa’i nyin byed. dad pa’i nyin byed. a teaching of the second promulgation. pages 299-300. rtogs brjod rtsa ’grel. skr. skr. pages 411-416. 5) the gods enjoying emanations [’phrul dga’. which are: 1) the four goups of the great guardian kings [rgyal chen rigs bzhi. caturmahārāja-kāyikā].74 The Buddha let rays from his body shine on a cloth. ‘the dharma-wheel devoid of attributes’ [bka’ bar pa mtshan nyid med pa’i chos ’khor]. 72 The second promulgation. 3) the gods free from conflict [’thab bral. that is to say he understood the nature of the four noble truths. 73 Peking No. Another account reports that when Buddha was visiting his mother for three months in the abode of the ‘thirty-three gods’. 2) the thirty-three gods [sum cu rtsa gsum. . trayastriṃśa-deva] reside on top of Mount Sumeru and belong to the ‘six classes of gods of the realm of desire’ [’dod lha ris drug / ’dod lha rigs drug]. pages 35-38. This painting became known as ‘Taken from the Rays of the Muni’s Body’ [thub sku ’od zer ma] and was sent to princess Muktālatā.75 the king of Kāśi [gsal ldan] wished to erect a 71 See Udrāyaṇa. she entered into deep meditation.188 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations When he saw this picture. and achieved the state of a ‘stream-enterer’ [rgyun du zhugs pa]. tuṣita]. the symbolic drawing. The Prajñāpāramitā [sher phyin].71 According to Tibetan tradition. realized the truth. 75 The thirty-three gods [lha sum cu rtsa gsum. the king of the gods. paranirmita-vaśavarttina]. skr.

where it has since been known as the ‘Sandalwood Lord of China’ [rgya nag tsandan jo bo]. . the length of the forearm. yojana. 9) [gzhan las rgyal ba]. transported the craftsmen who were to work on the statue to the celestial realms. the statue of the twelve-year-old Buddha was taken to China. 11) [chu bdag] and 12) [gshin rje]. 76 A league [skr. 2) [byed pa po]. 5) [bstod byed]. 2) [rkang gcig ’phel]. 10) [dbang ldan]. 2) [brten pa]. tib. Twenty-four fingers [sor mo nyi shu rtsa bzhi] make up one cubit [khru gang]. It is said that when Buddha returned from his visit to the celestial realms. he ordered statues of himself in order to preserve his teaching for future generations and to tame those who followed other beliefs and paths. āditya] such as 1) [dbang po]. 3) [’jog po]. Śakra took the third statue to the celestial realms. The thirty-three gods are: (1-8) the eight wealth gods [nor lha brgyad. (20-31) the twelve suns [nyi ma bcu gnyis. dpag tshad] is an old Indian measurement. page 288. On their return to Kāśi they erected a life-size sandalwood statue which looked like the Buddha’s body [tsandan gyi ’dra sku]. Viśvakarman [bi shva karma]. the tīrtikas [mu stegs]. the king of the gods. 5) [brtson ’grus ldan]. 3) [zla ba]. skr. Viṣṇu [khyab ’jub] and Śakra [brgya byin]. skr. 9) [khyab ’jug]. Maudgalyāyana. Viṣṇu took various jewels from the nāgas and built a saṃbhogakāya representation of the Buddha called ’Great Glacial Ocean Vairocana’ [rnam snang gangs chen mtsho]. The third statue depicted Buddha at twenty-five. 3) [lam pa]. rūdra] such as 1) [ma skyes]. (9-19) the eleven wrathful ones [drag po bcu gcig. through his magical powers. 7) [sngon ’phags].76 and placed the statue in the ocean. endnote 7. Following the description of Buddha’s nursemaid [ma ma ngag bzhin]. 4) [’dzin byed]. vāsudeva] such as (???) 1) [chu lha]. Śakra. During the reign of King Devapāla. and the statue of the eight-year-old Buddha was transported to Nepal. The king requested Maudgalyāyana [maudgal gyi bu] to help. See Abhidharma-kosha. gathered precious substances from the god realms as well as from the human realm. The first two remained for some time in the realm of the gods. Viśvakarman’s first and second statues portrayed Buddha at the ages of eight and twelve. Brahma had a stūpa erected as a dharmakāya representation of Buddha. 5) [rlung]. 8) [mig gsum]. See Myriad Worlds. 6) [sngon min]. measured from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. measured from the right tip to the left tip of the middle fingers of the out-stretched arms. Five hundred fathoms are one ear-shot or calling distance [rgyang grags] and eight ear-shots are one league [dpag tshad]. and (32-33) the two sons of Aśvin [tha skar gyi bu gnyis] such as 1) [tha skar gyi lha] and 2) [gzhon nu’i lha]. Buddha himself blessed these statues. 6) [me]. and eventually at the vajraseat [rdo rje gdan] in Bodhgayā. in Oḍḍiyāna. to erect three nirmāṇakāya representations of the Buddha. 4) [char ’bebs]. the statue took six steps forward to greet him. 4) [drag po].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 189 statue as a devotional object in the Buddha’s absence. 7) [nam langs] and 8) [’od byed]. and ordered the celestial artist. 6) [’phrog byed]. It is also reported that when the time for the Buddha to enter into nirvāṇa was drawing near. 10) [’od can]. measuring eighty thousand leagues. page 266. Four cubits [khru bzhi] are one fathom [’dom gang]. 8) [mi gzugs]. in the realms of the nāgas. 11) [sa gsum]. skr. where they received direct instructions from the Buddha in person. Later this statue was taken to China. 7) [bde ’byung]. He summoned the gods Brahma [tshangs pa].

both of which are absolustely indispensable for a stūpa.D. the location of the statues was reversed. the dates for srong btsan sgam po are 618-641. 4) the bone relics [sku gdung gi ring bsrel].. blue. the dhāraṇīs written on the life-tree [srog shing] of the stūpa. History of Buddhism.78 Countless representation of the Buddha in the form of statues. one billion stūpas in different locations. all containing ‘relics grown from the bones’ [sku gdung ring bsrel] of the Buddha. red. This relic can be substituted with bones of great lamas. and from the ashes of his funeral pyre. page 268.80 Some sources report that King Aśoka erected ‘only’ Verses. there is a variation in the dating of events among the most reliable of Tibetan sources by as much as 60 years. green and yellow colors. This temple came to be known as the ‘Jo Khang’ [jo khang] of Lhasa. and at present ‘Jowo Mikyö Dorje’.D. due to political turbulence in Tibet. with the magical help of yakṣas. Tāranātha’s History of Buddhism. “In the period from 750 A.” According to Tibetan Empire. page 60-62. King Songtsen Gampo’s Chinese consort brought with her the statue of the Buddha at the age of twelve. All these statues are reputed to have been made during the Buddha’s lifetime. page 227. the actual bones of the Buddha that were taken from his funeral pyre. and the statue became renowned as the ‘Jowo Mikyö Dorje’ [jo bo mi bskyod rdo rje].D. 3) the mustard seed-like relic [yungs ’bru lta bu’i ring bsrel]. which are the Vimaloṣṇīṣa [gtsug gtor dri med] and Vimalaprabhā [’od zer dri med]. and 5) the clothes relics 77 According to the chapter on the ‘Three Revisions of the Tibetan Language’ in The Thirty . the ‘small terracotta stūpas’ [tshva tshva] placed on top of the two maṇḍalas. She built the Ramoche temple [rva mo che’i gtsug lag khang] for this statue. When these ‘grown relics’ in turn give rise to even more relics. can be visted at the Ramoche Temple. 80 A stūpa must contain the five kinds of relics [ring bsrel rnam lnga]: 1) the dharma relic [chos kyi ring bsrel]. 78 See text section 44 of chapter one. This statue is now known as Jowo Rinpoche or as Jowo Śākyamuni [jo bo shākya mu ni]. also known as ‘Jowo Rangjung Ngaden’ [jo bo rang byung lnga ldan].79 These ‘grown relics’ look like tiny pearls and come in white. the Buddha at the age of eight.77 took a Chinese consort [rgya bza’] and a Nepalese consort [bal bza’]. scriptures and stūpas were created after his nirvāṇa. Tibetan legend has it that King Songtsen Gampo emanated as the monk Akarmatiśi and brought from India to Tibet the famous statue of Avalokiteśvara [spyan ras gzigs] called ‘Jowo Rangjön Ngaden’ [jo bo rang byon lnga ldan]. page 93. Later. They are believed to have appeared out of Buddha’s remains. King Aśoka alone was said to have built. while the statue of Buddha at the age of twelve is in the Jo Khang. to 1000 A. 2) the dharmakāya relic [chos sku ring bsrel]. as well as relics of ’the seven generations of buddhas’ [sangs rgyas rabs bdun]. 79 See ston pa śākya thub pa’i rnams thar.190 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations In the seventh century A. they are called ‘multiplying relics’ [’phel gdung]. the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo (618-641). the white relic pearls of the Buddha [sangs rgyas kyi ring bsrel]. The Nepalese consort brought with her the statue of the eight-year-old Buddha and had it placed in a speicially built temple called the ‘Rasa Trül Nang Temple’ [ra sa ’phrul snang gi gtsug lag khang].

See History of Buddhism. 2) the second part of the relics was taken by the Mallas of Pāvā [cha gnyis pa sdig can gyi gyad rnams]. Some sources report that Aśoka took the relics from beneath the stūpa in the city of Rājagṛha [rgya po’i khab] that contained King Ajātaśatru’s share of Buddha’s relics. Obermiller translates the term with ‘the Krodhavas of Rāvaṇa’ [sgra sgrog kyi rgyal po kro taya]. 85 The Koḍya (Pali Koliya) is the name of the neighboring clan of the Śākyas. 6) the sixth part of the relics was taken by the Śākyas [cha drug pa śākya rnams] of Kapilavastu. the most famous is the group of eight stūpas built in India and Nepal. which refer to any of Buddha’s burned or unburned clothes. 5699 83 For a detailed describtion of Buddha’s burial see History of Buddhism. pages 60-61. page 61. 87 Obermiller translates the term with ‘the Brāhmaṇas of Viṣṇudvīpa’ [khyab ’jug gling gi bram ze]. See ston pa śākya thub pa’i rnams thar. 3) the third part of the relics was taken by the royal class of Buluka [cha gsum pa rgyal rigs bu lu ka].81 Among all these stūpas. pages 259-267. 5) the fifth part of the relics was taken by the Brāhmaṇas of Viṣṇudvīpa87 [cha lnga pa khyab ’jug gling gi bram ze]. page 57-68. . The Kaṃsadeśa-vyākaraṇa [li’i yul lung bstan pa]82 recognizes two sets of eight great stūpas: a) the ‘eight great stūpas of the Tathāgata’ [de bzhin gshegs pa’i mchod rten brgyad] and b) the ‘eight great stūpas containing the relics that were divided into eight parts’ [sku gdung cha brgyad du bgos pa’i mchod rten chen po brgyad]. 4) the fourth part of the relics was taken by the King of the Koḍyas85 of Roruka86 [cha bzhi pa sgra sgrog kyi rgyal po kro taya]. The eight stūpas of the Tathāgatha commemorate eight great events of the Buddha’s life and were constructed by his followers at the places where the events took place. This relic can be substituted with clothes from great lamas who have passed away. See History of Buddhism. With these relics he is said to have erected eight-four thousand essence-relics-stūpas [ring bsrel snying po can gyi mchod rten brgyad khri bzhi stong] with the magical help of yakṣas [gnod sbyin] that he controlled by mantra power. 7) the seventh part of the relics was taken by the Licchavis [cha bdun pa li tsha bi rnams] of [sku bal ring bsrel]. pages 268-270. The eight great stūpas of the Buddha’s relics were built after Buddha’s relics were distributed among the eight claimants by a Brāhmaṇa called Droṇa [bram ze bre bo dang mnyam pa]:83 1) the first part of the relics was taken by the the Mallas84 of Kuśinagara [sku gdung cha dang po rtsa can gyi gyed rnams]. 81 The Aśokāvadāna records that Aśoka collected relics from seven of the eight stūpas that were erected directly after Buddha’s parinirvāṇa and distributed the relics throughout India.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 191 eighty-four thousand stūpas with the help of his magical army of yakṣas in the course of one day and one night. skr. 86 Some sources mention Rāmagrāma as the capital of the Koḍyas. 82 Peking No. Vikrama]. ston pa śākya thub pa’i rnams thar. 84 Malla [gyad] can also means ’strongman’ or ’hero’[gyad.

pages 60-61. Bihar. See Der historische Buddha. the home of her husband. and 8) the eighth part of the relics was taken by Ajātaśatru [ma skyes dgra]88 of Magadha. Buddha’s mother.92 The Brāhmaṇa called Droṇa [bram ze bre bo dang mnyam pa] received the urn [gdung sgrom] in which the relics had first been deposited and the Brāhmaṇas of the city of Nyagrodha (Pippalavatī) [nya gro dha’i bram ze] received the ashes of Buddha’s body [gdung sol]. 90 See dad pa’i nyin byed. the mind of the Buddha. 91 Some sources mention that the stūpa was erected in Rāmagrāma. See dad pa’i nyin byed. 7) the Licchavis erected a stūpa in Vaiśālī [yangs pa can]. an object of commemoration [rjes su dran pa’i rten]. in the city of Rājagṛha [rgya po’i khab]. These stūpas became renowned as ‘the eight stūpas containing the relics’ [sku gdung gi mchod rten bgyad]. kapila]. page 487. skr.90 4) the King of the Koḍyas erected a stūpa in Roruka. Thus. King Śuddhodana [zas gtsang sras]. Also the relics that the Śākyas brought to Kapilavastu have been excavated and can be seen in the Indian National Museum in Calcutta. at the little village of Lumbinī.91 5) the fearless Bramins erected a stūpa in Viṣṇudvīpa. 8) and Ajātaśatru [ma skyes dgra] erected a stūpa in Veṇuvana [’od ma’i tshal]. Her mother. The names of the eight great stūpas of the Tathāgata vary slightly in the different scriptures. page 640: yul rtog pa g. 3) the Bulakās erected a stūpa in the country of Calakalpā [rtog pa g.yo ba]. Māyādevī [sgyu ’phrul lha mo]. 12. The relics that the Licchavis brought to Vaiśālī have been excavated and are now on display in the Department of Archaeology and Museums in Patna. pages 147. a woman frequently returns to her natal home to give birth to her first child. pages 10-17. 6) the Śākyas erected a stūpa in Kapilavastu [ser skya’i gzhi].yo ba na gnas pa’i rgyal rigs u lu ka.89 Each of the eight claimants erected a stūpa in their respective cities or countries: 1) the Mallas erected a stūpa in Kuśinagara and 2) in Pāvā [sdig can]. 165. pages 11-13.94 Following are the stories of these eight great stūpas: (1) According to South Asian custom. page 640: yul sgra sgrogs kyi rgyal rigs raṇḍaka. A stūpa is an object of worship [mchod pa’i rten]. Māyādevī had left too late and about 25 kilometers to the east of Kapilavastu. 92 See sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. See Der historische Buddha. one can say that a stūpa symbolizes the dharmakāya. altogether ten stūpas with Buddha’s relics were erected at that time. 89 See Crystal Mirror Vol. 94 See Stūpa And Its Technology. page 287. 88 See sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. was to help with her delivery. However. 163. . Each erected a stūpa.93 In general. was in an advanced stage of pregnancy when she set out from Kapilavastu [ser skya. page 288 and Auf den Spuren des Buddha Gotama. 93 See History of Buddhism. on her way to her mother’s house. she gave birth to the Buddha under a Sāla tree. as well as a reliquary [sku gdung mchod rten] of the Buddha or his important followers. Devadaha.192 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Vaiśālī. pages 484-487.

in Śrāvastī from Prince Jeta. who was a son of King Prasenajid [gsal rgyal]. at Bodhgayā. the path and the cessation of suffering. 2) Maskarī Gośaliputra [phyug lhas kyi bu ma ska ri]. 2) Aśvajit [rta thul]. [mi pham skra’i la ba can].98 To commemorate this event. Pūrṇa Kāśyapa. the Buddha taught the ‘four noble truths’ [’phags pa’i bden pa bzhi]: the truth of suffering.95 teaching the four noble truths to his first five disciples. [gcer bu ba gnyen gyi bu]. 5) Kukuda Kātyāyana [kātya yana’i nog can]. defeating the six tīrtika teachers who expounded wrong views [log par smra ba’i mu stegs kyi ston pa drug]. (???) . a meeting hall and a dining hall and so forth and presented the entire place to the Buddha and the Saṃgha as a monastery. Buddha declared Anāthapiṇḍada to be the foremost patron of the Saṃgha. for an exorbitant price. vajrāsana]. This stūpa is also known as ‘Stūpa that Gives Rise to Auspiciousness’ [bkra shis ’byung ba’i mchod rten] as well as ‘Stūpa of the Tathāgata’ [bde gshegs mchod rten]. 98 [mu stegs ston pa sde drug]: 1) (???) [rdzogs byed]. [rdo rje gdan. 3) Vāṣpa [rlang pa]. 96 The excellent group of five [lnga sde bzang po] are: 1) Ajñāta-kauṇḍinya [kun gzhi ko’u di na ya]. King Śuddhodana. 97 Anāthapiṇḍada [mgon med zas sbyin] bought Jetavana. [ka ta’i bu nog can]. Anāthapiṇḍada built individual cells. skr. This stūpa commemorating Buddha’s birth is considered to be the very first among all representations of the Buddha’s body. 3) (???) [rnam par smra ba’i bu mo’i bu kun nas rgyal ba]. To commemorate the miraculous event of his birth. on the sacred Vajrā Seat. 4) Mahānāma [ming chen]. the Licchavis erected in Jetavana a stūpa variously called ‘Stūpa of Miracles’ [cho ’phrul 95 In the first promulgation. (???) [yang dag rgyal ba can]. the excellent group of five [lnga sde bzang po]. (3) At the Deer Park of Ṛṣipatana [drang srong lhung ba ri dvags kyi nags tshal] in the district of Vārāṇasī. [gnag lhas kyi bu]. (4) At Śrāvastī [mnyen yod] in Jetavana [rgyal byed kyi tshal]. called ‘the dharma wheel of the four truths’ [bka’ dang po bden bzhi’i chos ’khor]. which is also known as ‘Stūpa of Great Enlightenment’ [byang chub chen po’i mchod rten] or ‘Enlightenment Stūpa’ [byang chub mchod rten]. (2) In the kingdom of Magadha. King Bimbisāra [gzugs can snying po] sponsored the construction of a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Taming the Māras’ [bdud ’dul mchod rten]. speech and mind. its origin. A lotus sprang up to cushion each step. the Buddha set the wheel of dharma in motion. To commemorate this event.97 Buddha performed great miracles [cho ’phrul chen po]. Buddha’s father.96 To commemorate this event the five disciples sponsored the construction of a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Multiple Doors of Auspiciousness’ [bkra shis sgo mang mchod rten]. Jeta’s Grove. Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of thirty-five.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 193 As soon as the Buddha was born. 4) Ajita [skri’i la ba can mi pham pa]. and Bhadrika [bzang ldan]. he took seven steps in each of the four cardinal directions. Nirgrantha Jñātiputra. Sañjayī Vairaḍīputra. sponsored the construction of a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Heaped Lotuses’ [pad ma spungs pa'i mchod rten] in Lumbinī. 6) (???) [gnyan gyi bu gcer bu]. also known as ‘Wisdom Stūpa’ [ye shes mchod rten] or ‘Dharmacakra Stūpa’ [chos ’khor mchod rten].

also known as ‘Stūpa of Blessing’ [byin rlabs mchod rten]. To commemorate this event.194 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations mchod rten]. the people of Vaiśālī100 constructed a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Complete Victory’ [rnam rgyal mchod rten / rnam par rgyal ba’i mchod rten]. has become customary in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. he ended the restrictions [dgag dbye mdzad pa] of the summer retreat in the morning and descended from the celestial realms to the human realm. For example. Countless stūpas containing Buddha’s hair and nails were built while he was still alive. India. Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana brought the saṃgha together again in reconciliation. The stūpas can be built singly or as a set of eight. the people of Kāśi constructed a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Descending from the Gods’ [lha bab mchod rten / lha las babs pa’i mchod rten]. (6) After Devadatta [lhas sbyin] had created a schism in the saṃgha at Rājagṛha [rgya po’i khab]. To commemorate this event the Mallas of Kuśinagara [rtsa can gyi gyed] constructed a stūpa called ‘Parinirvāṇa Stūpa’ [myang ’das mchod rten / mya ngan las ’das pa’i mchod rten]. H. (5) After Buddha had spent three months in summer retreat [dbyar gnas mdzad pa] in the god realm of the thirty-three [trayastriṃśa]. (8) At Kuśinagara [rtsva mchog gi grong] the Buddha entered into parinirvāṇa. After Buddha passed away. 99 This grove in Rājagṛha was donated by King Bimbisāra [gzugs can snying po] to the Buddha and the Saṃgha. and ‘stūpas which contained the charcoal’ [sol ba’i mchod rten] of his funeral pyre. ‘stūpas which contained the remains of his unburned clothes’ [ras ma tshig pa’i mchod rten]. where he had taught the dharma to his mother. while other sources mention the people of Vaiśālī. To commemorate this event. also known as ‘Stūpa of the Thirty-Three Gods’ [sum cu rtsa gsum lha’i mchod rten]. To commemorate this event. H. 100 Khenpo Kunpal states that the Mallas constructed this stūpa. . Nepal. In addition to the ‘eight great stūpas containing the relics that were divided into eight parts’ [sku gdung cha brgyad du bgos pa’i mchod rten chen po brgyad]. erected in Veṇuvana [’od ma’i tshal]99 a stūpa called ‘Stūpa of Reconciliation’ [dbyen ’dum mchod rten]. arriving at Kāśi [gsal ldan] in Vaiśālī [yangs pa can]. ‘Stūpa of Great Miracles’ [cho’phrul chen po’i mchod rten] or ‘Stūpa of Defeating the Tīrtikas’ [mu stegs pham byed mchod rten]. Replicating these eight great stūpas of the Tathāgata. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche built the entire set at his monastery in Boudhanath. Māyādevī [sgyu ’phrul lha mo]. which commemorate events of Buddha’s life. such as Prince Jeta [rgyal byed]. (7) At Vaiśālī [yangs pa can] Buddha extended his lifespan for three months. Penor Rinpoche has built two sets at his monastery at Bylakuppe. Mysore District. H. the people from Maghadha. and H. his followers also built ‘stūpas which contained the remains of his burned clothes’ [ras tshig pa’i mchod rten]. It is also known as ‘Stūpa of True Kindness’ [byams dngos mchod rten] or ‘Stūpa of Light Rays’ [’od zer can mchod rten].

. ‘liberation by hearing’ means to hear someone recite it. the Great Perfection.101 Text section 126 / stanza 21: The teachings of Dzogchen. page 62. 2) The representation of the speech is the Single Son of the Doctrine Tantra [bstan pa bu gcig gi rgyud].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 195 Buddha’s four incisor teeth [tshems mche ba bzhi po] were placed in four stūpas which are no longer in the human realm. One stūpa was taken by Brahmā [tshangs pa]. liberation by touch [reg grol] and liberation by recall [dran grol]. At that time. It is said that wherever these three representations reside.102 made out of one hundred and one jewels. Wherever these three objects dwell. which is said to be presently floating in the sky above Bodhgayā in India. ‘liberation by touch’ means to wear this tantra on one’s body. 3) The representation of mind is a five-pronged vajra. trayastriṃśa-deva]. an inconceivable benefit for sentient beings will be spontaneously accomplished. and the last by the gandharvas of the delightful city of Gāndhāra [tshig ’dzin yid ’ong]. liberation by hearing [thos grol]. a third by the king of Kalingka [ka ling ka]. These three objects are believed to travel through space. one cubit tall. 102 Some texts mention a Vajrasattva statue. the teachings of the Great Perfection spread. the Dzogchen teachings will no longer exist in this world. also known as the ‘Tantra of the Single Son of the Buddhas’ [sangs rgyas sras gcig gi rgyud]. made out of one hundred and one jewels. 101 See History of Buddhism. trace their origin back to the three objects of the doctrine [bstan pa’i btsas gsum]. when the merit of sentient beings in our world system is exhausted. and ‘liberation by recall’ means to remember its qualities or to practice its teachings. The Single Son of the Doctrine Tantra is considered capable of granting four types of liberation [grol ba bzhi ldan]: liberation by sight [mthong grol]. which presently abides in the realm of the thirty-three gods [skr. these three representations will fly to another world system. from one world system to another. The scriptures mention twelve particular places where twelve Dzogchen teachers (???) abide. The three objects of the doctrine in which the Dzogchen teachings have their source are: 1) The representation of the body is a self-arisen statue of Buddha Vajradhara. ‘Liberation by sight’ means to see or read the tantra. In the future. remaining only in those universes where sentient beings have sufficient merit and karma to receive the Dzogchen teachings. which can presently be found in the cave called ‘Wrathful Ṛṣi Cave’ [rub tu khros pa drang srong phug] on the northern side of Mount Sumeru. another by the the king of the nāgas below the city of Ruroka (Rāvaṇa). Through seeing.

Thus. rol mo]. the great scholar Longchen Rabjam [klong chen rab ’byams] included this tantra in his Nyingthig Yabzhi [snying thig ya bzhi]. padam. 2) pure and refreshing bath water [skr. 3) blooming flowers [skr. Text section 130 / stanza 23: . the other tenth level bodhisattvas. presented similar offerings to the Buddha. 5) illuminating lamps [skr. Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra brought the Single Son of the Doctrine Tantra to Tibet. immeasurable negative karma will be gradually purified. tib. argham. These different editions of the tantra may vary slightly in one or two words. These four liberations are a special feature of the Vajrayāna teachings. Even if we cannot actually emanate such inconceivable offerings. tib. where it has been handed down from teacher to student within the oral tradition [bka’ ma] as well as within the tradition of revealed treasures [gter ma]. he manifested offering goddesses who presented to the three jewels countless masses of offerings such as the eight outer offerings [phyi’i mchod pa]. it was also discovered as a revealed treasure by the master Sangye Lingpa [sangs rgyas gling pa]. 7) food [skr. such as Mañjuśri and so forth. mar me].196 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations hearing. a compendium of the Dzogchen teachings of Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra. The Nyingthig Yabzhi also contains a commentary on the Single Son of the Doctrine Tantra ascribed to the Indian Dzogchen master Śrī Siṃha. tib. Text sections 128-129 / stanza 22: Just as Bodhisattva Samantabhadra had filled the entirety of space with unexcelled offerings. tib. zhabs bsil]. Later. he reproduced himself immeasurable times on the tips of infinite light rays. From his heart center Samantabhadra emanated infinite multi-colored light rays in all directions. aloke. They excel or surpass anything that we know of. tib. naividya. but they are identical in meaning. pushpe. touching or remembering this tantra. and each emanation again radiated immeasurable rays of light. mchod yon]. 6) fragrant perfume [skr. gandhe. shapda. sweet-tasting drinking water [skr. These offerings are called ‘unexcelled offerings’ or ‘unsurpassable offerings’ [bla na med pa’i mchod pa] because they cannot be duplicated in the human world. we should try to emulate [rjes mthun pa] these bodhisattvas so that we may slowly develop the same capacity. Chetsün Senge Wangchug [lce btsun seng ge dbang phyug] and Pema Ledrel Tsal [padma las ’brel rtsal]. On the tip of each ray he manifested himself. dri chab]. Text section 127: ‘Unexcelled offerings’ refers to the vast offerings created by Bodhisattva Samantabhadra through the power of his samādhi. zhal zas]. me tog]. and 8) music [skr. tib. On the tips of the final light rays emanating from the heart centers of infinite Samantabhadras. Discovered as a revealed treasure by the Dzogchen masters. tib. dhupe. which are: 1) clean. gdug spos]. tib. 4) fine smelling incense [skr.

Arrogance prevents qualities from developing in our own minds. like someone with a cataract [ling tog]. 2) the dharma of statements [lung gi chos] and the dharma of realization [rtogs pa’i chos]. Furthermore. He cannot see the qualities in others at all. The wisdom of realization is the ‘wisdom arising from the practice of . removing the cataract of pride and selfaggrandizement. but is only for one’s own benefit. On the first level. Offering prostrations or paying respect eliminates arrogance from the mind. Paying respect to others clears the eye [mig gtsang ma gso gi yod]. A mind filled with pride and arrogance is not the proper vessel to receive teachings and practice the dharma. the basket of discourses [mdo sde’i sde snod]. Praise the thirty-two major marks and the eighty minor signs on the body of the Buddha. the basket of the doctrine [mngon pa’i sde snod]. 2) the training in samādhi [ting nge ’dzin gyi bslab pa]. the bodhisattva is endowed with one hundred and twelve qualities. enabling one to see the qualities in others and to acknowledge them by paying respect. Praise the sixty aspects of his speech and the infinite qualities of his mind. the basket of discipline [’dul ba’i sde snod]. The ‘dharma of statements’ [lung gi chos] refers to the tripiṭaka. Text section 131 / stanza 24: The main reason to offer prostrations or to pay respect [phyag ’tshal ba] is to diminish pride [nga rgyal]. and 3) the abhidharma piṭaka.” A mind filled with arrogance cannot hold the water of the sublime qualities of the dharma of statements and realization.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 197 Offer praises to the buddhas and bodhisattvas with poetic verses sung with a pleasant voice in various melodious tunes. “The water of qualities will not stay upon the ball of arrogance. the bodhisattvas are endowed with an ocean of qualities. The dharma of statements [lung gi chos] can also be divided into the twelve sections of scriptures [gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis]. The ‘dharma of realization’ [rtogs pa’i chos] refers to the ‘three precious trainings’ [bslab pa rin po che rnam pa gsum]: 1) the training in discipline [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa]. The wisdom of statements is the ‘wisdom that knows the statements of the three baskets’ [lung sde snod gsum ha go ba’i ye shes]. The wisdom of these three baskets is within the mind of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas who hold the ‘knowledge of having realized the entire teachings of the three baskets’ [lung sde snod gsum rtogs pa’i shes rab]. the supreme among gatherings’ [’dus pa rnams kyi mchog dge ’dun]. with twelve thousand qualities and so forth. An arrogant person is like a blind person. On the second. Paying respect to the Buddha benefits the Buddha not at all. The object of respect is the three jewels. As text section 186 of the first chapter states. praise the infinite qualities of the bodhisattvas. They are 1) the vinaya piṭaka. and 3) ‘the saṃgha. which differ from level to level. and 3) the training in knowledge [shes rab kyi bslab pa]. A mind filled with pride and arrogance is humbled through offering prostrations. the three baskets [sde snod gsum]. In that way. 1) the buddhas of the three times and the ten directions. 2) the sūtra piṭaka.

and the mind of the person who has realized it can never be separated. the two kinds of pratyekabuddhas [rang sangs rgyas rigs gnyis]. the realizaion of egolessness. . All ordinary gatherings eventually fall apart. The ‘supreme among gatherings’ [tshogs rnams kyi mchog] means those who have reached the wisdom of the path of seeing [mthong lam gyi ye shes thob pa]. and are inseparable from it [de nyid bral ba med pa]. Generally. All those practitioners who have not realized egolessness but who abide by one of the seven sets of individual liberation [so thar rigs bdun] belong to the ordinary saṃgha or the ‘saṃgha of ordinary beings’ [so so skye bo’i dge ’dun]. text sections 222-223. one can say that the dharma of statements [lung] refers to the three baskets [sde snod gsum]. imagine that your body multiplies as many times as there are atoms in the countless buddha fields.104 When you offer prostrations.103 The Mahāyāna saṃgha refers to the bodhisattvas traversing the stages from the path of accumulation [tshogs lam] all the way to the tenth bhumi. samādhi and hold knowledge in their minds. the supreme among gatherings’? The minds of the saṃgha members and the wisdom of egolessness that they have realized [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes] are inseparable. What is meant by the phrase ‘the saṃgha. But the realization of egolessness and the mind of the person who has realized it will never fall apart and this. That is what the phrase ‘with bodies as numerous as all the atoms in the buddha fields’ means. but to the inseparability of the realization of egolessness and the mind of the person who has realized it. the realization of egolessness. The supreme among gatherings is the gathering or unity of the person [gang zag] and the knowledge that realizes egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa shes rab]. while the dharma of realization [rtogs pa] refers to the three precious trainings [bslab pa rin po che gsum]. Offer prostrations simultaneously with all these bodies. all compounded things [’dus byas] will eventually be dispersed. But the truth of the path [lam bden]. 103 The pratyekabuddha who lives alone like a rhinoceros [bse ru lta bu’i rang sangs rgyas] and the pratyekabuddha who lives among people [tshogs na spyod pa’i rang sangs rgyas].198 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations the three trainings’ [rtogs pa bslab pa gsum nyams len byed pa’i ye shes]. In short. The Sanskrit word ‘saṃgha’ does not refer to a supreme group of people. The Hinayāna saṃgha consists of the śrāvakas [nyan thos]. All the buddhas and bodhisattvas have trained in discipline. and are therefore not considered ‘supreme gatherings’. therefore. is known as ‘supreme among gatherings’. This is also a definition of the ‘noble saṃgha’ [’phags pa’i dge ’dun]. split or disperse. 104 For a detailed discussion regarding the distinctions between the saṃgha of ordinary beings and the noble saṃgha see chapter one.

To all these one may offer prostrations and pay respect as they are also representations [tshab] of the Buddha. the ‘the teacher to whom one .Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 199 You may offer a full prostration [brkyangs phyag]. The full prostration and the half prostration are both ‘physical prostrations’ [lus kyi phyag]. throwing your entire body completely on the ground [lus thams cad sa la phab pa’i phyag]. Or you may offer a fivepoint prostration [yan lag lnga sa la phab pa’i phyag] by touching five points of your body [lus kyi mal lnga] to the ground. Furthermore. Text section 133 / stanza 25: Preceptor of prātimokṣa [so thar gyi mkhan po] refers to the person who gives precepts. which represent Buddha’s body. In this way. speech and mind. speech and mind: images. The supporting basis for the development of bodhicitta includes all representations of Buddha’s body. Text sections 132 / stanza 25: The root text mentions the basis of bodhicitta [byang chub sems kyi gzhi]. from the precepts of the lay practitioner who accepts the three-fold refuge [skyabs gsum ’dzin pa’i dge bsnyen] to the precepts of a fully ordained monk [dge slong]. any place where bodhicitta is generated [sems bskyed gling]. To all preceptors of prātimokṣa one pays respect. the site of his first teaching in Sarnath. 3) monks and 4) nuns [dge tshul pha ma gnyis]. which represent Buddha’s mind. the palms of both hands [lag mthil gnyis] and your forehead [dpral ba]. explained. In any case. books. These five are your two knees [pus mo’i lha nga gnyis]. and stūpas. Base or basis here means ‘support’ [rten]. The term ‘offering prostrations’ [phyag ’tshal ba] can be explained in two ways. 5) male lay practitioners and 6) female lay practitioners [dge bsnyen pha ma gnyis]. the place of his enlightenment in Bodhgayā. practiced or studied is a support for developing bodhicitta and is a worthy object of prostration. and with your voice recite the appropriate lines from the scriptures. in your mind generate devotion to the three jewels by recollecting their qualities. These include: the karma ācārya [las kyi slob dpon]. as ‘getting closer to the qualities of the object to which one offers prostrations’ [yul nye bo gso gi yod red] and as ‘meeting the qualities of the object to which one prostrates’ [rang gi sems yul gyi yon tan la thug gi yod red]. There are many types of teachers. and 7) probationary nuns [dge slob ma]. a support base on which to can develop bodhicitta. You pay respect to all your teachers [slob dpon]. The support also includes temples [gtsug lag khang] and places important in the Buddha’s life story such as his birthplace in Lumbinī. which represent Buddha’s speech. Prātimokṣa means ‘individual liberation’ and refers to the seven sets of precepts [so thar ris bdun]: the precepts for 1) fully ordained monks and 2) fully ordained nuns [dge slong pha ma gnyis]. That is called a ‘mental prostration’ [yid kyi phyag]. and the location of his parinirvāṇa in Kuśinagara. while you offer prostrations. This prostration is also called a ‘half prostration’ or ‘bending prostration’ [bskums phyag]. the act of prostration purifies the obscurations of body. You may also imagine offering prostrations.

Moreover. The karma ācārya functions as the preceptor during the ordination ceremony. the karma ācārya and the teacher to whom one reveals secrets are both needed. When the Buddha was still on the path of a bodhisattva. Acknowledging and respecting the qualities in others leads to a happy and peaceful mind. 26. It is said that a student who fails to pay respect to all of his teachers. The term ‘discipline’. vol.105 When one receives the precepts of a monk [dge tshul gyi sdom pa] or the precepts of a fully ordained monk [dge slong gi sdom pa]. he sometimes made offerings to demons and spirits because they were in possession of a few four-line stanzas of dharma. even one who taught only a single four-line stanza. the teacher can assess whether or not the applicant is allowed to receive monk ordination. The teacher to whom one reveals secrets asks the applicant prior to receiving his ordination many confidential questions such as whether he has committed any of the five crimes with immediate retribution [mtshams med pa lnga] and so forth. A student should pay respect to his teachers first of all because they are endowed with positive qualities. failing to give respect to those who deserve it. will certainly take rebirth as a dog. Seeing the kindness of one’s teacher. ‘the reading and writing teacher’ [klog gi slob dpon] and so forth. Seeing the qualities in one’s teacher. and the student’s duty is to respect his teachers. You pay respect to everyone who has taught you something. worldly conduct ['jig rten tha mal gyi spyod pa phar brtul] and adopted [zhugs] the conduct of tantrikas or of monks. one pays respect out of devotion and faith [dad pa]. Therefore. All these teachers are virtuous friends [dge ba’i bshes gnyen] and worthy of respect. even acknowledged demons and spirits as his teachers. one pays respect out of love [brtse ba]. the Buddha. when still a bodhisattva. refers to someone who has abandoned ordinary. A teacher’s duty is to teach the student. the ‘quarter master’ [gnas sbyin pa'i slob dpon / gnas sbyin pa]. 105 See Mipham Sungbum. from the most advanced practitioners of the tantric and monastic tradition to those who uphold only a mere token of the Buddha’s dress code. . paying respect is a way of acknowledging the qualities [yon tan] and kindness [bka’ drin] of the teacher. The quarter master is necessary to see to the monks’ housing. one should pay respect to all followers of the Buddha and his teachings. from the most eminent down to the lowest of practitioners. The teacher must keep all this information secret and is not allowed to reveal it to others. and paid them respect. ‘practice’. Based on the answers to these questions. Thus. Dogs are generally looked down upon and mistreated in Asia. jealousy or aggression do not respect their teachers. page 241. and secondly because they have extended kindness to the student by sharing their qualities with him. Students whose minds are filled with pride.200 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations reveals secrets’ [gsang ste ston pa'i slob dpon]. or ‘tül-zhuk’ [brtul zhugs].

The saffron robes of a monk are a symbol of allegiance [khas len pa’i rtags]. pressing your palms tightly together. And when 3) the prana is straight. According to Chinese custom. 2) the three lines of the dharma conch [chos kyi dung] at their . your mother to your left. right at your sternum. While making these gestures. Sometimes imagine that your body multiplies into infinite bodies. remember the qualities of Buddha’s body. Join your hands with fingertips. dressing in white robes. first stand straight. speech and mind. do the practice of six yogas and so forth. is a ‘gesture of suffering’ [mya ngan gi phyag]. (4) the mind is straight [rlung drang na sems drang]. thumbs and wrists touching. and imagine that you hold a big jewel [nor bu] between them. Think that you offer this jewel to the buddhas when you do your prostrations. When 2) the nadis are straight. emanations of yourself. and offer prostrations simultaneously with all these emanated bodies. ‘zhuk’ [zhugs] means ‘adopting’ [tshur dang du len]. speech and mind of all sentient beings and yourself may be purified and that all may achieve 1) the invisible ushnisha [gtsug tor ltar mi mngon pa] on the tops of their heads. shave their heads. Text section 134: When you offer prostrations. Becoming a practitioner. Those who want to become monks give up their former life-style. Make the aspiration that the obscurations of body. means a change in life-style as well as in dress. the prana is straight [rtsa drang na rlung drang]. or to your forehead [dpral ba]. someone who maintains the discipline of a monk or a tantrika. Imagine offering prostrations with all of them. the nadis (channels or meridians) are straight [lus drang na rtsa drang]. second your throat center and third your heart center. and take on the three-fold saffron-colored robes. imagine your father to your right. At other times. right at the crown [spyi gtsug]. A monk’s outfit in itself shows that he is someone who has pledged to keep the precepts of a monk. leaving a space between your palms. your enemies in front of you. in the posture endowed with the fourfold straightness [drang po bzhi ldan]. Their unconventional dress and behavior is a sign of utter fearlessness. indicate through their dress that they practice pure perception [dag snang]. When 1) the body is straight.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 201 ‘Tül’ [brtul] connotes ‘abandoning’ [phar yug pa] and ‘destroying’ [med pa byed pa]. Those who wear the attire of long-haired tantrikas. and infinite sentient beings around you. Text sections 135-137: You touch the wrists of your cupped palms to three places: first. Tantrikas wear white robes [gos dkar] and do not cut their hair but wear it in long braids [lcang lo can]. You can also imagine that the palms of your hands are joined like a lotus bud that is just starting to bloom. Those who enter into the conduct of a ‘heruka’ might give up any kind of dress and roam naked in charnel grounds. to the top of your head.

. and cannot be fathomed by the intellect. Text section 139: The five obscurations [sgrib pa lnga] are: 1) sensual desire [’dod pa la ’dun]. 4) the supernatural perception of recalling former existences [sngon gnas rjes su dran gyi mngon shes]. 3) the supernatural perception of the divine ear [lha’i rna ba’i mngon shes]. inexhaustible [rdzogs rgyu med pa / zad mi shes pa]. 2) hungry ghosts [yi dvags]. catuhsaṃgrhavastu] are four methods for attracting disciples: 1) ‘generosity’ [sbyin pa]. 4) taste [ro]. 106 Mipham’s mkhas 'jug page 271-272 107 For a detailed explanation see Mipham’s mkhas ’jug page 270-271. 4) distraction [g. Buddha called ordinary sentient beings ‘children’ because their minds have not ripened [sems ma smin pa].202 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations throat centers. The five sense pleasures [’dod pa’i yon tan lnga] are: 1) sight [gzugs]. 4) the dharma eye [chos kyi spyan]. and 5) touch [reg bya]. 3) sloth and torpor [rmugs pa dang gnyid].yeng ba]. 2) sound [sgra]. 3) animals [dud ’gro]. 2) ‘speaking in a pleasant manner’ [snyan par smra ba]. and 5) doubt [the tshom]. refering to the dharma of child-like. and 4) ‘consistency between words and actions’ [don mthun pa]. 3) regret [’gyod pa]. The five classes of beings [’gro ba rgyud lnga / ’gro ba lnga] are: 1) hell beings [dmyal ba]. 2) the supernatural perception of the divine eye [lha’i mig gi mgon shes]. and 5) the capacity of knowledge [shes rab kyi dbang po]. 4) the capacity of meditation [ting nge ’dzin gyi dbang po]. Here the asuras are included with the gods. 4) excitement and guilt [rgod pa dang ’gyod pa]. ordinary. and 5) gods [lha]. 3) ‘purposeful activities’ [don spyod pa]. and 5) doubt [the tshom]. and 5) the wisdom eye [ye shes kyi spyan]. 2) ignorance and sleep [rmugs pa and gnyid]. 4) humans [mi]. 2) the divine eye [lha’i spyan]. Text section 138: The four means of attraction [bsdu ba’i dngos po bzhi . 3) the capacity of remembering [dran pa’i dbang po]. Other teachings list them as: 1) attachment [’dod chags]. 2) ill-will [gnod sems]. The five supernatural perceptions [mngon par shes pa lnga] are: 1) the supernatural perception of magical powers [rdzu ’phrul gyi mgnon shes]. 3) the eye of knowledge [shes rab kyi spyan]. and 5) the supernatural perception of knowing the minds of other people [gzhan sems shes pa’i mngon shes]. The infinite knot means that the mind of the Buddha is endless [mtha' med pa]. The five capacities [dbang po lnga] are: 1) the capacity of faith [dad pa’i dbang po]. worldly beings [byis pa so so’i skye bo ‘jig rten pa’i chos]. skr. and 3) the infinite knot [dpal gyi be'u] at their heart centers.107 The five eyes [mig lnga / spyan lnga] are: 1) the physical eye [sha’i spyan]. 3) smell [dri]. 2) the capacity of diligence [brtson ’grus kyi dbang po].106 The term worldly dharma [byis pa’i chos] literally means ‘child-like dharma’.

The mind of the person who offers prostration becomes open and stable. You are expressing. Any kind of gesture. Recognizing the view of the natural state to a certain extent already qualifies as a ‘prostration’. For instance. therefore. If the object is devoid of any quality then there is no need to offer prostration. Offering prostration functions [byed las] to defeat arrogance [nga rgyal ‘joms pa]. Arrogant or proud people do not show respect to others. you express this joyful mind [sems dga’ ba] with a respectful physical gesture. If you want to acquire the qualities of the three jewels for yourself. ‘tsal-wa’ means ‘to do’ or ‘to make’ [byed pa]. ‘prostration’ or ‘paying respect’. emotional experience of appreciation. Externally. . becomes a suitable vessel for the development of qualities. others bow or join their hands in anjali mudra. Recognizing the view is called a ‘wisdom prostration’ [ye shes kyi phyag] or a ‘knowledge prostration’ [shes rab gyi phyag]. gestures of close appreciation [nye bar gus pa’i rtags] or even heartfelt appreciation [snying nas dga’ ba’i rtags]. arrogant or proud people who refuse to pay respect to the positive qualities of others cannot hope to attain such qualities for themselves. On the other hand.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 203 Prostration or paying respect [phyag ’tshal] is a ‘gesture of respect’ [gus pa] and a ‘gesture of joy’ [dga’ ba] toward someone else expressed with body. When you make prostrations you acknowledge [khas len] that the object of prostration has greater qualities than yourself. or ‘gesture’ [phyag rgya]. joy and love. ‘sign’ [rtags]. The true prostration is made with the mind. on the external level. prostrations of the highest. In China and Japan monks show respect by raising one hand in front of their chests. To show respect to those who have no qualities is a sign of foolishness. The highest level of prostration is the ‘prostration of meeting the view’ [rab lta ba mjal ba’i phyag]. All these gestures of respect [phyag ’tshal ba] are ways of expressing the wish to become closer with the other person. one can make various gestures of respect with one’s eyes [mig gis phyag ’tshal ba]. is as follows. The etymology [nges tshig] of the Tibetan word ‘chak-tsal-wa’ [phyag ’tshal ba]. an internal. Human beings have different ways of showing joy and respect according to their cultures. and. the joined palms. You open up to the qualities inherent in the object of prostration. speech and mind. Showing respect through physical prostrations is thus an antidote to arrogance and pride [nga rgyal]. The benefit [phan yon] of offering prostration is that one becomes a basis [rten] or foundation [gzhi] on which qualities can develop and increase. Prostration is ‘wishing to approach nearer’ [nye bo bzo ‘dod yod]. as a gesture of respect. middling and lowest levels. Some nod their heads in appreciation and acknowledgement. the first step is to acknowledge and pay respect to them through prostrations. There are distinct levels [dbye ba] of prostration. The essence [ngo bo] of prostration is ‘intimate respect’ [nye bar gus pa]. movement or sign expressed with the body in a respectful state of mind is called a prostration. a gesture of respect. since that would require humbling themselves. The word ‘chak-tsal-wa’ can be interpreted as ‘to show a sign’ or ‘make a gesture’ [rtags bstan]. ‘Chak’ means ‘hand’ [lag pa].

Every practitioner should offer at least three prostrations every morning in front of their shrines before starting their meditation session. Prostrations must be done in a joyous state of mind. you offer prostration to the object of your faith and devotion: to the Buddha and your root guru. Once you have recognized the view. The beginner must also practice introspection [shes bzhin]. Recognizing the view means to open up [kha ’byed pa] one’s mind and become close or intimate [nye bo] with the buddha nature. Some people really dislike offering prostrations. To truly understand the Buddha or the root guru means to realize the view.204 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Generally. one must traverse many lesser levels. That is called introspection. The middling level of prostration is the ‘prostration of practicing meditation’ [sgom pa bsgoms pa’i phyag]. even when he was an old man. In doing so he brings himself ever closer [nye bo] to the guru and the view. He practices with mindfulness and does not forget the qualities of his guru. you recite the lines of refuge and recollect the qualities of the object of your prostration with a mind infused with faith and devotion. the ‘prostration of the view’. Khenpo Pentse [mkhan po pad ma tshe dbang]. qualifies as a ‘prostration’. Simply approaching buddha nature. . Reflecting on the qualities of the Buddha. continued to offer five hundred prostrations every day. one meets the Buddha. bringing these qualities again and again to mind. and thus with buddha nature. he will slowly arrive at effortless mindfulness. The more one advances. Recognizing the view is the highest form of prostration. The supreme prostration is a total fusing of one’s own mind with the mind of the root guru. The practitioner has gained confidence in the qualities of his root guru and the Buddha. The lowest form of prostration is the full body prostration called the ‘prostration endowed with the three kinds of faith’ [mos gus gsum ldan gyi phyag]. devotion. a ‘prostration of theoretical understanding’ [go ba’i phyag]. This is the ‘prostration of ultimate truth’ [don dam pa’i phyag]. generating faith. In the recognition of the buddha nature. You meet the mind of the Buddha. While prostrating in this way. complete enlightenment. you automatically recognize your root guru as the Buddha. even if only through theoretical understanding. When you practice full prostrations. To recognize the view means to recognize awareness. Mindfulness [dran pa] is indispensable for a practitioner. If such people do prostrations intensively. He needs to know what to do and what to avoid. A beginner needs to maintain mindfulness with effort. He further needs to scrutinize his body. On the path to buddhahood. awareness itself. As he advances in the view. But they should still do a few in order to confront their aversion. are ‘prostrations of relative truth’ [kun rdzob gyi phyag]. You cannot lower yourself more than stretching your body flat on the ground. My teacher. speech and mind to determine whether he is following what he is supposed to do. certainty etc. the Buddha. the closer one gets to the genuine view. their anger only increases. you are consciously assuming the lowest place possible.

The body is just a temporary dwelling and will be left behind when we die. get up and do a few prostrations. Such people should really do full prostrations to overcome their attachment to their bodies.” then prostrate to him with heartfelt devotion. Know that for Buddha there is no near or far. a skillful means that helps deal with afflictions. If you do not know Tibetan language and liturgy. the certainty that he . he is present. When you feel restless and think you must leave your meditation seat and go outside. Remember that pride and jealousy are hidden thoughts and emotions [khog ‘gyur gi rnam rtog] and you never know to what extent they possess your mind. When you are livid with anger. you can talk straight to the Buddha’s wisdom body. do prostrations right where you first spot it.” In this fashion supplicate the Buddha and offer prostrations in a state of intense longing. “Buddha Śākyamuni. The moment you recollect him. Know that the Buddha is omniscient and that the moment you think of him or visualize him sitting in front of you. This is a worldly motivation and does not get you anywhere. When you feel devotion welling up in your heart. Call out to the Buddha any time you feel like it. “Now! Please let me realize the essence of my mind. you should never think that offering prostration is simply a good and healthy exercise. This is called ‘flattening pride’ [nga rgyal ’bur mnyam / ngal rgyal ’bur ’joms byed pa]. it is completely acceptable to compose your own devotional songs and chants. When you are alone at home practicing or in retreat. Anger. Know further that the Buddha has no likes and dislikes. To overcome subtle and unnoticed pride and arrogance. strike these afflictions down through prostrations. please think of me. I need this right now. a few prostrations can help you out of this state of mind. desire and ignorance are more easily detected. Call out to the Buddha. At times. Moreover. Although the body must regularly be fed and cared for. and you will already have a different perspective. just offer a few prostrations. even if the place is dusty and dirty. Never think you are unworthy of his consideration. Some people are overly concerned about bodily comfort. I will call out until you grant me realization. From time to time you need to reduce your attachment to your body and throw it on the ground in full prostration. It helps subdue physical diseases and gives relief when one is depressed. practitioners should do a few prostrations every day. he is there in actuality. The love that Buddha feels for the bodhisattvas of the tenth level and the love he feels for a little insect are exactly the same. pampering their bodies too much. It is about your certainty that the Buddha is present in front of you. your mind and emotions actually require much more care and attention.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 205 Offering prostration is a very powerful practice. When you cannot sleep at night. just say. therefore. when you see a statue in a temple. like flattening and beating down something that comes up out of the ground. This is not about numbers of prostrations to be accomplished. However. The moment you notice pride or arrogance arising in your mind. you need at some times to overcome the fixation on cleanliness and hygiene. Overcome all doubts and hesitations.

The Buddha meets the needs of each of his followers although they have different capacities for understanding the dharma. It is the thought: “From today onwards. the door to all teachings is closed. But even for such supreme practitioners who can practice awareness alone. There is no single method. commitment [dam bca’ ba] and resolve [thag chod pa] concerning the three jewels. Therefore. . Sometimes one prostration done with that kind of certainty is worth more than a hundred thousand done if your heart is not in it. He appears to both the dull-minded and those of highest intelligence in appropriate ways. prostrations will only benefit and not harm. Buddha taught every possible method to tame the minds of beings. With these various levels of teachings. That kind of yogin will be an example for others. ‘going for refuge’ opens the door to all teachings and Buddhist practices. In this way. Text section 142: Going for refuge is the doorway to all teachings [chos thams cad kyi sgo dbye]. Such practitioners are extremely rare. Even one who has recognized the view and is liberated from the expectation of enlightenment should always engage in gathering the two accumulations. The teachings of the Great Perfection are his innermost secret teachings. he continued to act as though he himself was still deepening his understanding of the text. he set an example for others. commitment and resolve concerning the Buddha. Most of us must apply various methods to tame or inspire our minds. This is why enlightened masters do not act out their realization of the ultimate view but rather set an example of proper practice and behavior on the relative level. What is the meaning [don dag] or the essence [ngo bo] of going for refuge? Going for refuge is essentially ‘acceptance’ [khas len]. I accept [khas len] the Buddha as the one who shows the path [lam bstan mkhan]. Supreme Dzogchen practitioners are those who are truly able to practice awareness recognition [rig pa rkyang ’ded] alone. For the benefit of others. The Buddha himself had reached complete enlightenment and yet he manifested a conduct attentive to many subtle details. The Vajrayana teachings are Buddha’s private teachings. ‘commitment’ [dam bca’ ba] and ‘certainty’ [thag chod pa]. dharma and saṃgha. Even his manner of eating rice was an example to others. technique or teaching that will tame the minds of all people. and on this I am resolved [thag chod]. until the attainment of enlightenment (Mahāyāna) or until I die.206 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations can grant you ultimate realization right now.” If a student lacks acceptance [khas len]. one skillful practice among many. Although Paltrül Rinpoche had taught the Bodhicharyavatara over one hundred times. Offering prostration is one method. practitioners who have reached a high level of realization and learning still maintain relative dharma practice. (Hinayāna). You cannot call yourself a Buddhist without having acceptance. easy to learn and easy to do. I commit to him [dam bca’ ba].

garlands [phreng ba] or perfumes [spos nyug]. Text sections 144-145: Going for refuge is the source of all qualities [yon tan thams cad kyi ’byung gnas]. You can commit to many precepts. 4) not to lie [rdzun du smra ba]. but if you haven’t first taken refuge. listen to or play songs [glu] or music [rol mo]. brings no benefit whatsoever. pledge or vow. to be introduced to their qualities and to understand the reason [rgyu mtshan] for going for refuge. Only when you have cut through doubts can you successfully practice the dharma. All dharma practice begins with going for refuge. you are not maintaining any Buddhist precept. and the samayas [dam tshig] of Vajrayana are all based on going for refuge. the beginner can develop faith. or on special days that commemorate events in the life of the Buddha. . The precepts of individual liberation [so thar]. Anyone can take precepts and vows. The first step is to identify the three jewels. A precept [sdom pa] means that you bind or guard [bsdoms] your mind with a thought.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 207 A beginner needs to learn about the three jewels and their qualities. Mahāyāna or Vajrayana teachings. the trainings of the bodhisattvas [byang sems kyi bslab pa]. Just as you cannot build a house without a foundation. the basis of refuge [skyabs ’gro ba’i rgyu]. Practicing any of the Hinayāna. If you have truly gone for refuge this indicates that all of your doubts about the three jewels have been eradicated. The practice of refuge also functions as a remedy for doubt [the tshom gyi gnyen po]. Without knowing about the three jewels. 3) not to have sexual intercourse [mi tshangs par spyod pa]. After understanding the qualities of the three jewels. pledges and vows. you cannot practice dharma without the foundation of refuge. without having received the refuge precepts. No precepts. are ever given to a person who has not already gone for refuge. from the eight precepts observed for one day [bsnyen gnas yan lag brgyad pa] to the Secret Mantrayana precepts. Lay practitioners take these precepts on special days such as the new or full moon. Discipline means keeping rules that are in harmony with the way things really are [dngos po gnas tshul dang mthun pa'i khrims bsrung mkhan tshul khrims]. 2) not to steal [ma byin par len]. and not to wear ornaments [rgyan]. 7) not to sleep on a high or large bed [khri stan che mtho]. When you commit in your mind. 6) not to dance [gar]. and 8) not to eat after midday [dus ma yin pa’i kha zas].” you have taken a precept. 5) not to take intoxicating beverages [myos par ’gyur pa’i chang]. Text section 143: Going for refuge is the basis for all Buddhist precepts [sdom pa thams cad kyi gzhi rten]. The terms ‘precept’ and ‘discipline’ [tshul khrims] have the same meaning. The eight precepts observed for one day are: 1) not to kill [srog gcod pa]. Without knowledge of the three jewels no one can go for refuge. “I will abstain from doing this and that. you are ignorant about the dharma and have no idea about how or what kinds of precepts to take.

Buddhists are called ‘insiders’ and non-Buddhists . You decide that you believe in the enlightened Buddha as the supreme teacher. That kind of faith is based on going for refuge since the very foundation of going for refuge is belief in the law of cause and effect. dharma and saṃgha. Someone who has really taken the refuge precepts to heart is naturally a person endowed with qualities [yon tan dang ldan pa’i mi]. When you go for refuge you have to decide in your mind that you believe in karma.208 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Having received the refuge precepts. all your practices will produce positive results. That question upset him greatly and he told his students they had wrong views about the dharma. your dharma practice will be fruitful. in the law of cause and effect. If you have not resolved all your doubts about the qualities of Buddha. The Buddha has infinite qualities of body. Text section 146: Going for refuge marks the difference between Buddhists and non-Buddhists and causes you to enter into the ranks of the Buddhists [phyi dang nang gi khyad par byed ’byed pa dang sangs rgyas pa’i gral du tshud pa byed]. If you study the ‘dharma of statements’ [lung]. the three precious trainings [bslab pa rin po che gsum]. and you decide that you trust in Buddha’s enlightened followers as your companions along the path. and in his future life will attain one of the three higher realms [mtho ris gsum] of saṃsāra. he has promised to develop the qualities of knowledge [shes rab] and compassion [snying rje] that were already present in his mind. dharma and saṃgha. As he has accepted and committed himself to the Buddha. a blissful mind. a mind without suffering. The ultimate qualities eventually achieved through taking refuge are the qualities of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. however. Going for refuge with knowledge and faith will give birth to immeasurable qualities: a peaceful mind. increasing knowledge. You decide that you believe in the dharma as the path that you personally want to follow. How do you distinguish between good and bad persons? The dividing line is whether the person has knowledge and compassion or not. Milarepa said that he had attained his qualities because he had faith in the law of cause and effect. as well as the ‘dharma of realization’ [rtogs pa]. the dharma and the saṃgha. you will understand the infinite qualities of Buddha. increasing compassion and so on. Taking genuine refuge will result in prolonging one’s life [tshe ring po] and reducing one’s illnesses [nad med pa]. Once Milarepa was asked by his students whether he was an incarnation [sprul sku] of some great master. speech. Going for refuge in a genuine fashion gives rise to all temporary [gnas skabs kyi yon tan] and ultimate qualities [mthar thug gi yon tan]. whatever teaching you might practice will be without great benefit. Whoever takes refuge in the three jewels with pure acceptance. the qualities of a mind at peace [sems zhi ba’i yon tan]. and will lead to a blissful mind [sems bde po]. and mind. the three baskets [sde snod gsum]. commitment and resolve will certainly be a good person in this life. When you have resolved all your doubts about these basic beliefs.

111 The three sub-schools of the Sthaviras [gnas brtan sde pa gsum]: 1) Mahāvihāravāsins [gtsug lag khang chen gnas pa’i sde]. Blue Annals. These four main schools are: 1) the seven sub-schools of the Sarvāstivādins [thams cad yod smra’i sde pa bdun]. 112 The three sub-schools Saṃmitīyas [mang pos bkur ba’i sde ba gsum] are: 1) Kaurukullakas [sa sgrog ri la gnas pa’i sde]. Therefore. 3) Mahīśāsakas [sa ston pa’i sde pa]. and 3) Abhayagirivāsins [’jigs med ri gnas pa’i sde]. 5) Bahuśrutīyas [mang thos kyi sde pa]. 4) Dharmaguptakas [chos srung gi sde pa]. one can distinguish ‘four main śrāvaka schools’ [nyan thos kyi rtsa ba’i sde bzhi]. 3) Sthaviras [gnas brtan pa’i sde]. and 7) Vibhajyavādins [rnam par phye ste smra ba’i sde pa]. 110 The five sub-schools of the Mahāsāṃghikas [dge ’dun phal chen sde pa lnga]: 1) Pūrvaśailikas [shar gyi ri bo la gnas pa’i sde]. and 5) Prajñāptivādins [btags par smra ba’i sde]. the followers of Vātsīputra [gnas ma bu pa’i sde pa].110 3) the three sub-schools of the Sthaviras [gnas brtan sde pa gsum]. “Why do you call yourself a Buddhist?” then the answer is.112 One of these eighteen sub-schools called Vātsīputrīya. pages 27-33.” The distinction between Buddhist and non-Buddhist is not based on the belief in the existence or non-existince of a personal identity [gang zag gi bdag]. Generally. “I am a Buddhist because I have accepted and committed myself to the three jewels. A Buddhist has the commitment to practice and develop knowledge and compassion. the Mahāsāṃghika school was associated with Pāli. I can feel my identity. The dividing line between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist is having acceptance. The short definition of dharma is ‘knowledge and compassion’.108 which include the ‘eighteen sub-schools of the śrāvakas’ [nyan thos sde pa bco brgyad]. the distinction 108 1) Sarvāstivādins [thams cad yod par smra ba’i sde]. holds a view that believes in the existence of a personal identity.109 2) the five sub-schools of the Mahāsāṃghikas [dge ’dun phal chen sde pa lnga]. 4) Lokottaravādins [’jig rten ’das par smra ba’i sde].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 209 ‘outsiders’. they believe in the three jewels. who think. 109 The seven sub-schools of the Sarvāstivādins [gzhi thams cad yod par smra ba’i sde pa bdun]: 1) Mūlasarvāstivādins [gzhi thams cad yod par smra ba’i sde pa]. and the Saṃmitīya school was associated with Aphabhraṃsa. commitment and resolve to the three jewels. That means a Buddhist is a practitioner of knowledge and compassion. “I have an identity.111 and 4) the three sub-schools of Saṃmitīyas [mang bkur sde pa gsum]. . or Buddhists [nang pa]. 2) Aparaśailikas [nub gyi ri bo la gnas pa’i sde]. are those who are inside the dharma. To be inside the dharma means to be inside the unity of knowledge and compassion. and 4) Saṃmitīyas [mang pos bkur ba’i sde]. 2) Jetavanīyas [rgyal byed tshal gnas pa’i sde]. So do many Buddhist lay practitioners. pages 209-218. When you are asked.” Nonetheless. 2) Avantakas [srung ba pa’i sde ba] and 3) Vātsīputrīyas [gnas ma bu’i sde pa]. Insiders. The Sarvāstivādin school was associated with Sanskrit. 3) Haimavatas [gangs rir gnas pa’i sde]. 2) Kāśyapīyas [’od srung gi sde pa]. 2) Mahāsāṃghikas [dge ’dun phal chen pa’i sde]. the Sthavira school was associated with Prākrit. See Map of the Profound. 6) Tāmraśāṭīyas [gos dmar ba’i sde pa]. Were that the case many Buddhists would be classified as non-Buddhists. Without these one is not a Buddhist.

Conviction comes only from going for refuge. From now on we’re just going to call you Paṇḍita of Refuge. Śintavani. In actuality. He was happy that his nickname advertised him as a specialist in refuge and let other people understand that he was someone who furthered the Buddhist teaching. Text section 148: 113 See Tāranātha’s History of Buddhism. The term six gatekeeper paṇḍitas [mkhas pa’i sgo drug] refers to a group of great scholars from the Buddhist universtiy of Vikramaśīla. “Now I am someone who furthers the teaching of the Buddha even through his nickname. you can never decide which path to follow. Atiśa was delighted and replied. in Tibet Atiśa taught only refuge. there are many similarities in the words as the systems influenced each other with regard to meditation deities. indicating that Atiśa was a lama who knew no other teaching but refuge. page 295.” Since Atiśa thought that despite their great learning people in India did not understand that the distinction between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist was solely based on going for refuge to the three jewels. philosophical views and so forth. If you merely examine different systems or religions with the comparative attitude of a scholar. .210 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations between Buddhist and non-Buddhist should be based solely on going for refuge to the three jewels. yogic exercises [rtsa rlung].113 Prajñākaramati was the keeper of the southern gate. In his mind both systems and philosophies seemed to be almost the same. therefore. according to the Blue Annals. has passed away.114 he was the keeper of the western gate. you won’t. I will now go to Tibet since people in India cannot distinguish between a Buddhist and a non-Buddhist system. Lord Atiśa took no offence in this at all but on the contrary was most delighted since every single teaching of the Buddha is included within taking refuge to the three jewels. page 206. Text section 147: One Indian student of Lord Atiśa named Kṣitigarbha [sa’i snying po] had studied the canons of both Buddhist and non-Buddhist teachings three times each but still could not settle on the Buddhist view. saying that he could not detect any difference between the systems. “Although the six gatekeeper paṇḍitas and others are still alive in India. could not decide on the three jewels as his refuge. Tibetan scholars and students once complained. rituals. “Even when we request you to teach something else. Kshitigarbha got carried away by words and concepts and.” The title ‘Paṇḍita of Refuge’ was meant as a putdown. ‘The Beginner’s Paṇḍita. It was like calling this great scholar a teacher of ABCs’. my own teacher. Lord Atiśa was so disappointed by this that he said. 114 See Blue Annals. According to Tāranātha’s History of Buddhism.’ Rather than feeling insulted.

although it manifests in a religious and cultural context. we find great differences. skr. regardless of whether or not he follows the formal system of Buddhism. If a practitioner does not have acceptance. How are they same? Based on what comparable qualities are they same? Based on what do you decide that paths taught by Buddha. The dharma taught by the Buddha is nothing other than the way things naturally are [gnas lugs]. all masters from all religions are in essence the same as all beings share the same buddha nature. bodhisattvayāna]. Fundamentally. the fruition of that path will not be in accord with the buddha nature and thus will not lead to enlightenment. pratyekabuddhayāna] and 3) the bodhisattvas [byang chub sems dpa’i theg pa. Jesus and Shiva lead to the same result? People who hold this all-inclusive attitude are only speaking from a superficial viewpoint. The vehicles of 4) kriyatantra [bya ba’i rgyud kyi theg pa]. it does not depend on any culture. path and fruition116 as well as the aspects of view. however. All nine consecutive vehicles of Buddhism115 can be condensed into the practice of refuge. one way of thinking considers that anyone with knowledge and compassion is a Buddhist.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 211 Drigung Kyobpa said. Most practices of Tārā belong to either kriyatantra or charyātantra. 5) ubhayatantra [upa’i rgyud kyi theg pa]. all sublime teachings can be condensed into only refuge. if a religious path does not develop the qualities inherent in that buddha nature. commitment and resolve regarding the three jewels. 2) the pratyekabuddhas [rang rgyal gyi theg pa. “In short. meditation and conduct. When people state that all religions lead to the same result. As far as their individual paths are concerned. skr. you should ask what they mean by such a statement. Therefore. The Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra belongs to the vehicles of the bodhisattvas. Although all beings share the same buddha nature. All relative teachings are contained within the outer and the inner refuge. The vehicles of 7) mahāyoga [rnal ’byor chen po’i theg pa]. and 6) caryātantra [spyod pa’i rgyud kyi theg pa] are called ‘the three extraordinary inner vehicles’ [thun min nang gi theg pa gsum]. To really discern the crucial points of different religions and beliefs. 115 The nine consecutive vehicles [theg pa rim pa dgu] are the vehicles of the 1) śrāvakas [nyan thos kyi theg pa. 8) anuyoga [rjes su rnal ’byor gyi theg pa] and 9) atiyoga mahāsandhi [rdzogs pa chen po shin tu rnal ’byor gyi theg pa] are called ‘the three extraordinary secret vehicles’ [thun min gsang ba’i theg pa gsum]. 116 gzhi lam ’bras bu gsum 117 lta sgom spyod gsum . Different paths lead to different results. one must examine the aspects of ground. This first three vehicles are called the ‘three common vehicles’ [thun mong gi theg pa gsum]. He will be unable to decide on one path but will simply continue to compare teachings. All absolute teachings are contained within the secret and the absolute refuge.” That is a very profound point. not going into much depth. śrāvakayāna]. skr.117 The Buddha dharma is not a religion [chos lugs] and. he will find that many Buddhist and non-Buddhist teachings seem to be quite similar.

much more to achieve. they still need to re-enter the path in this life in order to develop and progress. without actually relying on the three jewels through taking refuge. the word ‘emptiness’ or the names of great Buddhist masters. Some people think. In fact. That potential needs to be discovered and developed. is like mistaking a small pond for the ocean. Although the sun radiates heat by its very nature.” . the many techniques taught by the Buddha and great masters are needed so that the potential inherent in people’s minds can be actualized. “I like Buddhism. inspired and interested to learn more about the dharma. a magnifying glass is required to set a piece of paper on fire by using that heat. Although they might have a good connection to the three jewels from previous lifetimes. people react very differently. The true basis [rgyu’am gzhi] of going for refuge is irreversible faith. I’ve read a few books and have some understanding. He should be able to explain the qualities of Buddha. 3) the faith of certainty [yid ches kyi dad pa]. the potential knowledge and compassion that individuals may have in their minds are not in themselves sufficient to bring about enlightenment. “I must practice the dharma. Other people start to cry after hearing just a few words from the teachings. Text section 150: There are four kinds of faith [dad pa rnam pa bzhi]: 1) the faith of amazement [dang ba’i dad pa]. Some start crying the first time they see a statue of the Buddha. A practitioner should have heartfelt confidence in and knowledge about the three jewels. He should be able to explain the meaning of taking refuge when asked. hear the name ‘Buddha’. Faith of amazement leads to interest in the teachings of the Buddha.” Such people have only very limited and unstable merit [bsod nams]. Inspired faith is the thought. In the same way. Simply calling oneself a Buddhist and reading books on Buddhism. dharma and saṃgha to others when asked. This is where the Buddhist tradition can help the individual. I’m already a Buddhist. Faith of amazement [dang ba’i dad pa] arises due to a karmic connection from former lifetimes. when a person becomes eager.212 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations However. and 4) irreversible faith [phyir mi ldog pa’i dad pa]. I don’t need a teacher. 2) the faith of inspiration [’dod pa’i dad pa]. When hearing about Buddhism. There is much. One wants to emulate the masters or the Buddha. and is a step toward the faith of inspiration. This faith is a feeling [tshor ba] of naturally arising devotion—feeling drawn to the three jewels without having reflected on them. also called ‘eager faith’ or ‘inspired faith’ [’dod pa’i dad pa]. through the merit [bsod nams] one accumulated in former lifetimes. An ancient Indian story recounted in Mipham Rinpoche’s commentary to the Śākyamuni liturgy tells of a child who looked with total amazement [ha le ba] at a painting of the Buddha for three days. although they do not understand the meaning of the words or why they feel so moved.

Irreversible faith means that the practitioner can withstand all kinds of obstacles [bar chad bzod thub pa] and cannot be tempted by any promises of saṃsāra. That is the foremost vow of the wise. neither gods nor demons can obstruct one’s practice. blun pos rang gi rjes su mi ’brang yang rang nyid blun po’i rjes su mi brang ba de ni khas pa’i dam tshig dang po ste srog la babs kyang ’bad pas srung bar bya Irreversible faith is the true basis of going for refuge as it never can be lost. I am totally committed to them and have resolved all doubts about them. Faith of certainty is more difficult to achieve than faith of amazement and faith of inspiration. and no one can create any doubt in one’s mind. Through no circumstances will he lose faith and devotion to the three jewels.” For this faith to arise one must be either knowledgeable about the qualities of the three jewels. Irreversible faith is stable certainty [nges shes brtan po] that does not rely on others. Even when my life is at stake. With this stable certainty [nges shes brtan po]. these first three types of faith are unstable. Faith of certainty can be attained through study and practice. One has not the slightest doubt about the three jewels. All doubts have been fully resolved [thag chod pa]. 118 See Word of My Perfect Teacher. these three types of faith might flare up when in the presence of the masters and later subside. That is a sign of contact with the dharma from previous lifetimes. or one can be ignorant about the qualities but resolved in one’s faith. thus knowing the reason for one’s faith and devotion. Requiring the support of others.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 213 Faith of certainty [yid ches pa’i dad pa] is the thought. The support of your dharma friends may be necessary to maintain inspiration and devotion.118 Some practitioners of the dharma generate faith from the very beginning. like the old lady who prostrated to a dog’s tooth believing it to be a relic of the Buddha. And I do not follow fools. but can also be lost. I will endeavor to keep it. and have utter confidence in their commitment [dam bca’] to their faith. “In this world my true place of trust. Gendün Chöphel once said in his ‘third scattered poem’ [thor bu gsum pa]: Fools do not follow me. For an ordinary practitioner. are committed to the teachings. Such irreversible faith comes about only through genuine recognition of the view. Her faith of certainty was such that relics truly appeared from the tooth. Irreversible faith [phyir mi ldog pa’i dad pa] on the other hand is unshakeable and can never be lost. my real point of reference is the three jewels. pages (???) .

One accepts the saṃgha to be one’s companions along the path. please help me. commits to them. Text section 151: One takes the three jewels as one’s refuge. one would have no reason to seek refuge or practice the dharma. commits to him and resolves all doubts about him. But. which have a very strong hold on us. Only when the habitual patterns of our minds change. you are not a true Buddhist. and resolves all doubts about them. Were one truly free of all mental fear and physical suffering. commitment and resolve toward the three jewels. As Mipham Rinpoche said: If nobility of certainty is not born. is it possible to gain irreversible faith. An aspiration [smon lam] is different from a supplication.214 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Even for a beginner who has not yet achieved irreversible faith refuge is still based utterly on faith [dad pa] and certainty [nges shes]. One accepts the dharma as the path that one wants to accomplish.” Going for refuge is more than simply a supplication. “May all beings be happy. “Please protect me. “Please help me so that I will not be punished. A supplication is a prayer such as. These patterns. and resolves all doubts about it. as for example.” . Going for refuge means seeking protection. In countless former lifetimes we have built up habitual patterns of doubt [the tshom] and afflictions [nyon mongs]. Making an aspiration one wishes for something good or auspicious to happen [yong bar shog shig]. accepts [khas len] them and commits to them [dam bca’ ba] in order to free oneself from suffering and fears. Taking refuge once does not eradicate these patterns. How could you ever cut through negativity of misconceptions? nges shes bzang po ma skye na sgro skur ngan pa ga la gcod Repeatedly going for refuge eradicates the habitual patterns of former lifetimes. are only loosened when going for refuge becomes a dominant feature in our minds. The essence of refuge is acceptance. we go for refuge to the three jewels. realizing that we have fear and suffering. regardless of how much knowledge you may have about Buddhism or how much practice you have done. Having a problem and praying to the three jewels for protection is a supplication. please grant me your blessings.” A supplication would be. “Grant all beings happiness.” A supplication is like someone in trouble with the law who gives bribes [lkog nor] to an official. Going for refuge must not be confused with a supplication [gsol ’debs]. One accepts the Buddha as the one who shows the path [lam bstan mkhan]. commits to it. and makes the request. Without certainty in your commitment to the three jewels.

Mahāyāna refuge is comprised of two sections: temporary causal refuge [gnas skabs rgyu’i skyabs ’gro] and ultimate resultant refuge [mthar thug ’bras bu’i skyabs ’gro]. being certain about them. “I will rely only on the three jewels. in good times or bad. Frightened by demons and diseases. also his acceptance (is born) out of compassion and love [’di ni de dngos ’dod-pas khas len de yang snying brtse las rig bya]. commitment [dam bca’ ba] and decisiveness [thag chod pa] concerning the three jewels. based on fear. Khenpo Kunpal here makes a distinction between worldly refuge [’jig rten pa’i skyabs ’gro] and transcendental refuge [’jig rten las ’das pa’i skyabs ’gro]. forests. whether I am happy or sad. The transcendental refuges are the Hinayāna refuge and the Mahāyāna refuge. 119 For more details see text section 161.” Text section 152: The third chapter of the Sūtrālaṃkāra [mdo rgyan] teaches about refuge and also explains the term ‘refuge’ [skyabs su ’gro ba] as ‘acceptance’ [khas len] in the phrase: Understand that because this (person) has the wish (to obtain in himself) the real (three jewels). but supplicating the three jewels is not the same as taking refuge. People from certain cultures. Supplicating the three jewels will bring blessings and is important. One commits to them. . They have no power to liberate people from suffering. All these various types of refuge must be distinguished according to the motivation [kun slong] with which one seeks it. take as their refuge objects mountains. in all circumstances. One thinks. trees. inner. they are not an object of Buddhist refuge. secret and absolute refuge. Text sections 154-155: Worldly refuge is not a Buddhist refuge. the dharma as your path and the saṃgha as your companions who help along the path. One can classify going for refuge according to the objects of refuge [skyabs yul]. non-Buddhist stūpas [’jig rten pa’i mchod rten] and so forth. people seek refuge in spirits and gods that reside at various places. Refuge means accepting Buddha as your teacher. “From now on. distinguishing between outer. As these spirits dwell within saṃsāra and have not gone beyond suffering themselves. whatever happens. one generates the thought.119 Text section 153: Many distinctions are possible regarding going for refuge. I put all my hopes in the three jewels and in nothing or no one else.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 215 Since going for refuge is acceptance [khas len]. stones. thinking that a god [lha] or a spirit [gzhi bdag] resides at those locations.” With this thought in mind one accepts the three jewels and commits to them. whether I am up or down.

dharma is called the sublime dharma. both the object of refuge and the motivation of the people going for refuge is worldly. and his insight are the . None of these gods and spirits are themselves liberated from the suffering of saṃsāra.216 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations People may seek refuge in Indra [brgya byin]. such as diseases and fears. beauty. then that is a proper Buddhist refuge. or to grant minor wishes. but he still holds the view that phenomena have a real basis in indivisible particles [rdul phran cha med bden 'dzin pa] and moments of consciousness [nang shes skad cig cha med bden ’dzin pa]. therefore. An arhat is free from the obscuration of afflictions but not free from the obscuration of cognition. anger [zhe sdang]. peaceful and supreme. He still is not totally free from fixations [’dzin pa med pa]. if the person who goes for refuge has accepted and committed himself to them. The arhat has realized that there is no truly existing ‘self’ [nga]. If the object of refuge is the three jewels. The second and third can be considered lesser varieties of Buddhist refuge. a happy marriage and the like in this life and the next. In these cases. A worldly motivation is the wish to attain wealth. 3) going for refuge to a worldly refuge object with a Buddhist motivation. This does not constitute Buddhist refuge. while the fourth is the actual Buddhist refuge. ‘Free from craving’ means that his mind is free from all afflictions such as desire [’dod chags]. Whether these gods and spirits have the power to protect people from temporary troubles. In the Hinayāna tradition. and 4) going for refuge to a Buddhist refuge object with a Buddhist motivation. grant refuge from saṃsāra. longevity. His view. If one goes for refuge to the three jewels with worldly thoughts and motivation. None of these objects of worldly refuge are considered to be supreme. which he holds to be truly existent. Viṣṇu [khyab ’jug] or among the gods of the eight classes [sde brgyad]. 2) going for refuge to a Buddhist refuge object with a worldly motivation. Buddha Śākyamuni is called the supreme among humans [rkang gnyis rnams kyi mchog] and is considered to be the supreme nirmāṇakāya [mchog gi sprul sku]. they cannot. ‘Peaceful’ refers to his peaceful mind. The first is not a Buddhist refuge at all. Four ways of going for refuge can be distinguished: 1) going for refuge to a worldly refuge object with a worldly motivation. Text section 156: In the Hinayāna tradition. free from craving [zhi ba ’dod chags dang bral ba rnams kyi mchog dam pa’i chos]. his thoughts. These two kayas constitute the Buddha. one’s refuge is the lowest kind of Buddhist refuge as the motivation is worldly. then one is using the three jewels as a worldly refuge. ignorance [gti mug]. Īśvara [dbang phyug]. his realization. health. The dharma here describes the mind of an arhat. and if the motivation of going for refuge is either a Hinayāna or Mahāyāna motivation. If that is one’s motivation for taking refuge in the three jewels. Brahma [tshangs pa]. The Buddha’s mind is the dharmakāya [chos sku] and his body the rūpakāya [gzugs sku]. although one might be a Buddhist. is also uncertain. pride [nga rgyal] and jealousy [phrag dog]. The rūpakāya includes the saṃbhogakāya and the nirmāṇakāya.

In the Hinayāna tradition. however. Yet. and act in virtuous ways. That is the saṃgha. Therefore. Once this realization is born in the practitioner’s mind. and 5) jealousy [phrag dog]. The inseparability of the realization and the mind of the realizer is called ‘the supreme among all gatherings’. Once the five afflictions are overcome. that afflictions have come to an end. but to the realization [rtogs pa] that was previously absent from someone’s mind but has now been newly gathered [gsar du ’dus pa’i rtogs pa]. the saṃgha is called the supreme among gatherings [tshogs rnams kyi mchog].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 217 dharma in the Hinayāna refuge. Afflictions are the five mind poisons: 1) craving [’dod chags]. therefore. ‘Gathering’ [tshogs] means ‘to gather many’ [mang po ’dus pa]. 4) pride [nga rgyal]. therefore. One does not go for refuge to the Buddha’s body in the Hinayāna tradition. In the Hinayāna tradition. split or disperse. Monks do nothing other than aspire to goodness. they cannot be considered ‘supreme gatherings’. Cessation means that clinging to an ego [bdag du ’dzin pa] has ceased and. Though the Sanskrit word saṃgha actually means ‘gathering’. the Tibetan term translates as ‘those who aspire to virtue or goodness’ [dge ’dun]. its causes and fruition. The dharma is not an external entity. the overcoming [spang bya] of all that should be overcome. Nirvāṇa means having transcended all suffering. dharma and saṃgha—refer to the mind. Sometimes the saṃgha is called ‘the precious group of gatherings’ [’dus sde rin po che]. all three—Buddha. one has reached nirvāṇa or cessation. the Sanskrit word ‘saṃgha’ does not refer to the supreme group of people. What is newly gathered is the knowledge that realizes egolessness. the truth of the path [lam bden]. Again. they aspires to virtue. A monk who has become an arhat has no thoughts other than virtuous thoughts. Realization in which ego-clinging and afflictions are absent is called the dharma. The mind of any person who is free of ego-clinging and afflictions can be called ‘dharma’. . This is a dualistic concept [‘du shes]. the absence of a personal identity [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. do not fall apart. this kind of gathering is called the supreme among gatherings. and they transform themselves into virtue [dge ba la ’gyur]. They have entered into virtue [dge ba la ’jug]. and. a mind in which suffering and the origination of suffering have ceased is called dharma. 3) ignorance [gti mug]. That realization and the mind of the person who holds it cannot be separated. it cannot be separated from him. The realizations abiding in the mind of an arhat constitute the dharma in the Hinayāna system. The realization of egolessness and the mind of the person who has realized it. It does not refer to the gathering of a group of people. The seeds or causes for all afflictions are the clinging to an ‘I’ [bdag du ’dzin pa]. Likewise. All ordinary gatherings eventually fall apart. not one [gcig ma red]. namely all afflictions together with their seeds [sa bon]. The dharma is nirvāṇa [myang ’das] or cessation [’gog pa]. the person and his realization of egolessness are two [tha dad]. The person and the realization are not one because the realization of egolessness is newly acquired. train in goodness [dge ba la ’jug pa]. however. 2) aggression [zhe sdang].

eventually he will be struck by a beam of light emitted from a buddha and will awaken from his state of cessation in order to progress along the bodhisattva path. Therefore. The Buddha taught how to examine our situation so we can understand that the ego does not exist in actuality. A Hinayāna practitioner never aspires to the enlightenment of the Buddha but only to become an arhat. Without ego-clinging there is no saṃsāra. A minimum of four monks constitutes an ordinary saṃgha. Hinayāna practitioners believe that becoming an arhat is the highest attainment possible. They believe that becoming an arhat and leaving the load of saṃsāra behind is much easier. and the belief in the existence of the ego is as absurd as believing in the horns of a rabbit. Both the noble saṃgha and the ordinary saṃgha are considered to be a ‘field of qualities’ [yon tan gyi zhing] and ‘a field or merit’ [bsod nams kyi zhing]. the ‘one who has destroyed his adversary’ [dgra bcom pa]. From the Mahāyāna perspective. they do not aspire to become buddhas. They are worthy of prostrations and offerings. . The term ‘noble saṃgha’ [’phags pa’i dge ’dun] refers to any person who has attained the higher realizations from the level of a stream-enterer onward. Unlike the bodhisattva practitioners. They think the attainment of complete enlightenment is virtually impossible. Those monks who have received ordination but have not yet reached any of these higher realizations are called ‘the saṃgha of the ordinary beings’ [so so skye bo’i dge ’dun]. which is to become an arhat. In the Hinayāna tradition [theg dman gyi mthong lam thob pa]. the Hinayāna tradition teaches only how to become an arhat and not how to become a completely enlightened Buddha. a practitioner who has attained the ‘path of seeing’ has become a ‘stream-enterer’.218 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The Hinayāna tradition recognizes four levels of realization. although an arhat can remain in a state of cessation for aeons. An ordinary person [so so skye bo] is a ‘person who has not reached the path of the noble ones’ [’phags lam ma thob pa’i gang zag]. From the first level onward bodhisattvas are called ‘noble beings’. Text section 157: Hinayāna practitioners go for refuge to the three jewels with the motivation of liberating themselves from the fears and suffering of saṃsāra. There is a great difference between the Hinayāna and Mahāyāna levels of attainment. the ‘once-returner’ [phyir ’ong ba] and the ‘non-returner’ [phyir mi ’ong ba]. beginning from the path of accumulations. In the Mahāyāna tradition. Among the five paths they are still on the path of learning [slob lam]. because it takes too many aeons of practice to become a buddha. They want to be free from ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. recognizing that saṃsāra comes about through egoclinging. the path of seeing is identical with attaining the first bodhisattva level. and is then called ‘a noble one’ [’phags pa]. The fourth is the arhat. The first three are the ‘stream-enterer’ [rgyun zhugs]. Hinayāna practitioners take refuge to the three jewels for as long as they are alive or until they have reached the goal of their path.

Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 219 Text section 158: In Mahāyāna refuge. The followers of the causal refuge see the three jewels in this way. Text section 160: The phrase. dharma and saṃgha have manifested in this world and are still externally present. and has attained the peace of nirvāṇa. and they consider the saṃgha as their companions along this path. saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya. They accept only the Buddha as the teacher because they believe that only the Buddha has truly overcome suffering and reached ultimate happiness. who are as many in number as space is vast. whereas in Mahāyāna the three jewels exist internally. and peace [zhi ba] refers to ‘peaceful nirvāṇa’ [zhi ba mya ngan las ’das pa]. In Hinayāna the three jewels are regarded as something that exists outside the individual. The ‘causal refuge’ [rgyu skyabs] entails acknowledging the three jewels as something existing outside of oneself. one cannot possibly lead beings to complete enlightenment. The Buddha. The expression ‘essence of enlightenment’ refers to the attainment of the three kayas. A Mahāyāna practitioner does not limit himself to only feeling compassion. Existence [srid pa] refers to the ‘three realms of saṃsāra’ [srid pa khams gsum ’khor ba]. the Mahāyāna practitioner aspires to free all beings from even the most subtle fixations. ‘Unbearable’ [shas mi bzod pa] means ‘unbearable in the flesh’. like being pierced by a thorn. which have appeared in the perception of others [gzhan sems can rgyud la phebs tshar ba]. They consider the saṃgha as virtuous friends [dge . the dharma as the path [lam]. he still retains subtle fixations on phenomena [chos kyi bdag ’dzin]. “I need to liberate all beings from all types of suffering. and the saṃgha as the companions along the path [lam grogs]. which cause subtle fear and suffering.” Without being liberated oneself. In order to liberate oneself and all beings from the fears and suffering of saṃsāric existence and peaceful nirvāṇa. They believe that the path taught by the Buddha is the true path. object fixations. One considers the Buddha as the teacher of the path [lam ston pa po]. one goes for refuge to the three jewels of Mahāyāna until attaining the essence of enlightenment [byang chub snying po]. What kind of fear exists in peaceful nirvāṇa? Even though the arhat is free from ego-clinging [gang zag gi bdag ’dzin]. subject fixation. but cultivates the thought. dharmakāya. the fears of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa [srid zhi’i ’jigs pa] refers to the two extremes: the three realms of saṃsāra and peaceful nirvāṇa [srid pa khams gsum ’khor ba dang zhi ba mya ngan las ’das pa’i mtha’]. Bodhisattvas also have this subtle fixation. They accept this path as their personal path and commit to accomplish it. The three jewels which have manifested in the minds of others [gzhan rgyud la byon zin pa] refers to the external three jewels [phyi rol gyi dkon mchog gsum]. They believe that the Buddha alone has discovered and traversed the true path to enlightenment. within the mind of the individual. the practitioner develops a strong and unbearable compassion toward all sentient beings. Therefore.

the first bodhisattva level. They are not the real saṃgha. Here. first developed bodhicitta in a former aeon and gathered the accumulations of wisdom and merit during three countless aeons. The Buddha manifests as someone different from oneself. the word non-returner refers to those bodhisattvas who cannot fall back into saṃsāra. the basket of discipline [’dul ba’i sde snod]. They are not the real dharma. Finally he was born as the son of King Suddhodana and attained complete enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. Buddha Śākyamuni. the three baskets [sde snod gsum]. . Our teacher. The teachings of statements [lung gi chos] refers to the tripiṭaka. All the buddhas and bodhisattvas train in discipline. the basket of discourses [mdo sde’i sde snod]. are the minor objects of refuge. and the training in knowledge [shes rab kyi bslab pa]. In that way. which are the training in discipline [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa]. from the first to the tenth level. The wisdom of statements is the wisdom that knows the statements of the three baskets [lung sde snod gsum ha go ba’i ye shes]. and the abhidharma piṭaka. one should understand that the sublime dharma is the wisdom of statements and realization dwelling in the minds of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. They are the saṃgha of ordinary beings [so so skye bo’i dge ’dun]. who are the representatives of or the substitutes [tshab] for the noble saṃgha [’phags pa’i dge ’dun]. The Buddhist books and scriptures are the representation of or substitute [tshab] for the sublime dharma. The ‘teachings of realization’ [rtogs pa’i chos] refers to the three precious trainings [bslab pa rin po che rnam pa gsum]. who have reached the level of non-returners [phyir mi ldog pa]. The wisdom of realization is the wisdom that comes from the practice of the three trainings [rtogs pa bslab pa gsum nyams len byed pa’i ye shes]. They are the vinaya piṭaka. the sūtra piṭaka. Together they are called the jewel of the sublime dharma [dam chos dkon mchog]. All statues of the Buddha are only his representations or substitutes [tshab] and should not be considered to be the real Buddha. the basket of the doctrine [mngon pa’i sde snod]. All bodhisattvas. The dharma is the mind that has realized wisdom. The Buddha as the embodiment of the three or the four kayas is called the jewel of the Buddha [sangs rgyas dkon mchog]. All bodhisattvas who have not attained the level of a non-returner. samādhi and hold knowledge in their minds.220 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations ba’i grogs po] who help them increase their own virtue. Having this three-fold certainty [nges shes gsum] in Buddha. The saṃgha of the bodhisattvas such as Mañjuśrī and Maitreya. are the main objects of refuge. The dharma consists of the ‘wisdom of statements’ and the ‘wisdom of realization’ that dwells in the minds of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. The teachings of statements can also be divided into the twelve sections of scriptures [gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis]. The wisdom of these three baskets is within the mind of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas who have the knowledge of having realized the teachings of the three baskets [lung sde snod gsum rtogs pa’i shes rab]. is called the jewel of the saṃgha [dge ’dun dkon mchog]. the training in samādhi [ting nge ’dzin gyi bslab pa]. dharma and saṃgha is called the causal refuge.

skr. due to his negative actions. size. He took many rebirths as a good as well as a bad person. mind. How can you even think that you might be able to help him?” Then the demon smashed Śākyamuni’s head with a hammer and he died. Buddha Śākyamuni. where he and another person were forced to pull a wagon. a pair of shoes [mchil lham zung gcig]. at a time when the 120 Some sources give skr. started out as a completely ordinary being. in the ’era of strife’ [rtsod ldan dus. he took rebirth in the hell realms. The Sanskrit term kāśika or kāśikā refers to valuable textile products from Benares. the future Buddha thought to himself. an umbrella made of fine Benares cloth [ras kā śi ka]. Once. Lifespan. much less by just one. I should make an aspiration to become like him. Just like your noble and supreme marks. skr. realm of activities. bde bzhin gshegs pa khyed sku ci ’dra dang ’khor dang sku tshe tshad dang zhing khams sogs khyed kyi mtshan mchog bzang po ci ’dra ba de ’dra kho nar bdag sogs ’gyur bar shog With great devotion he made this aspiration. This wagon could barely be pulled by two people.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 221 Our teacher. Merely being close to him generated instant joy and bliss.” Immediately the henchman of hell said. May I and all beings become exactly like you. sahalokadhātu]. The boy thought.” Lord Buddha. He took rebirth as the son of a potter and received the name Prabhāsa. and entourage. kaliyuga]. perhaps it will alleviate his suffering. Watching the demon overlord beating his companion and seeing his suffering. saying. If I pull a little harder. just like your body. everything about him was very appealing and magnetized the young boy. When he looked at this buddha he saw that Great Śākyamuni was perfect in every aspect. “I am so impressed by the Buddha. voice. . “Every being is experiencing here the fruition of his own karma. Then the Buddha placed his right hand on the boy’s head. His body. Ābhākara for the Tibetan snang byed.120 At that time a perfectly enlightened buddha with the name ‘Great Śākyamuni’ had appeared in this world.121 and a pot of fired clay [rdza bum so btang ba] filled with water. This was the first bodhisattva-like thought Buddha ever had as an ordinary being. The child Prabhāsa went to meet this buddha and offered him five cowrie shells [’gron bu lnga]. “This is hopeless. 121 Kāśi is the old name for Benares (Vārāṇasī). “May you attain enlightenment as the perfectly enlightened buddha in a future aeon in this ’world system of endurance’ [mi mjed ’jig rten gyi khams. Looking at Great Śākyamuni the boy could not detect the slightest defect.

123 bram ze rgya mtsho’i rdul . his very acceptance is (born) out of compassion and love [’di ni de dngos ’dod pas khas len de yang snying brtse las rig bya]. the ‘actual Buddha’ [sangs rgyas ngo ma]. Great Śākyamuni made a prediction [lung bstan]. the age of strife. The meaning of this statement is: “Understand that because the person wishes to obtain the ‘real’ three jewels. at a time when the five degenerations were ablaze. A bodhisattva wishes to actualize in himself the three jewels. he took rebirth as the Brāhmaṇa Samudrareṇu. and may you bear the name of the glorious Śākyamuni.123 In front of Buddha Ratnagarbha he made five hundred great aspirations. the degeneration of lifespan [tshe’i snyigs ma]. the degeneration of actions [las kyi snyigs ma]. is difficult to understand. Later on. That aspiration was the first aspiration that our teacher Buddha Śākyamuni ever made. ‘the essence of the three jewels’ [dkon mchog gsum po’i ngo bo]. the ‘dharmakāya of the Buddha’ [sangs rgyas kyi chos sku]. The real [de dngos] means ‘the real essence of the Tathāgata’ [de bzhin nyid kyi dngos po] or ‘the real essence of thatness’ [de kho na nyid kyi dngos po] and connotes ‘the ultimate three jewels’ [mthar thug gi dkon mchog gsum] or ‘the real three jewels’ [dkon mchog gsum ngo ma]. in the Kaliyuga. Because he wishes [’dod pas] means ‘because he has the wish to obtain in himself’ [rang nyid thob ’dod pas]. at the time of a buddha called Buddha Ratnagarbha. and the degeneration of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i snyigs ma]. praying that he would become enlightened in the impure realm of Sahalokadhatu. the 122 The degeneration of time [dus kyi snyigs]. the chapter on refuge. Sometimes the ‘degeneration of views’ [lta ba’i snyigs ma] is listed in place of the ‘degeneration of actions’. These words describing the resultant refuge [’bras skyabs] are considered words of tantra [rgyud kyi tshig]: Understand that because this (person) wishes (to obtain in himself) the real (three jewels). he accepts them or goes for refuge to them. But his very going for refuge arises or is born from compassion and love” [gang zag ’di ni dkon mchog gsum po de dngos ma rang nyid thob ’dod pas khas len pa’am skyabs su ’gro bar byed gi yod red / skyabs su ’gro ba de yang snying rje dang brtse ba las byung ba’am skyes par rig par bya’o]. Based on this aspiration and based on the blessings and prediction of the Buddha called the ‘Great Śākyamuni’.222 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations five degenerations [snyigs ma lnga]122 are ablaze. our Buddha actually became exactly like him and was also called by his name. No other bodhisattva had ever made such aspirations since they perceived beings in the impure realms to be improper vessels for the teachings. Text sections 161-163: This quote from the third chapter of Sūtrālaṃkāra. That story describes the beginning of Buddha Śākyamuni’s bodhisattva activity. The word this [’di ni] refers to ‘this bodhisattva’ [byang chub sems dpa’ ’di ni] or ‘this person’ [gang zag ’di ni].” Thus. the degeneration of sentient beings [sems can gyi snyigs ma].

You develop certainty about the fact that the fruition. Within Buddha all three ultimate jewels are complete. This wisdom is identical with the essence of one’s mind. one is free from the fears and suffering of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa and has oneself become the ultimate refuge object. “I know that the essence of my mind is buddha nature. The ultimate. He is not motivated by the wish to achieve ultimate enlightenment for his own sake. “With the wish to accomplish the real Buddha [sangs rgyas dngos ma].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 223 dharmakāya of the Buddha [sangs rgyas kyis chos sku de rang nyid mngon du ’gyur ba’i ’dod pa]. The bodhisattva goes for refuge to the three jewels because he is endowed with the thought to free all sentient beings from suffering. different from oneself. are already present in your mind. is perfectly present within the essence of your mind. is the acceptance of the commitment. the commitment [dam bca’ ba] to actualize the three jewels in oneself. the ultimate saṃgha. That is the ultimate dharma. resultant refuge is committing oneself to accomplish that wisdom. . The ultimate object of refuge is the Buddha himself. You make the firm resolve to accomplish and realize this buddha nature. Whereas in the ‘causal refuge’ [rgyu skyabs] the three jewels are considered as something external. The ‘resultant refuge’. the qualities of buddhahood. cognizant nature [rang bzhin gsal ba]. The mind of the Buddha is the dharmakāya. in the ‘resultant refuge’ one knows the essence of one’s mind to be the buddha nature. I will practice until I have completely realized this buddha nature. empty essence [ngo bo stong pa]. and the motivation to free all sentient beings from the fears and suffering of saṃsāra through love and compassion. and unrestricted responsiveness [thugs rje ’gags med]. the resultant refuge and the view [lta ba] are the same. The Buddha himself is the real ultimate Buddha.” The resultant refuge is the commitment to accomplish in one’s own mind the three ultimate jewels in order to relieve all beings of the suffering of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.” The hallmark [mtshan nyid] of the resultant refuge is committing to the fact that the fruition. Once one has accomplished the three jewels. the buddha nature. or the ‘fruitional refuge’ [’bras skyabs]. As the Buddha’s wisdom and the Buddha’s mind are inseparable. The word ‘acceptance’ in the phrase his very acceptance [khas len de yang] means ‘his going for refuge in itself’ [skabs ’gro de yang]. Understand [rig bya] means ‘one must understand’ [ha go bar bya’o]. In this way. Out of compassion and love [snying brtse las] means that ‘the Mahāyāna refuge precepts are born out of compassion and love’ [theg chen gyi sdom pa de snying rje dang brtse ba las byung bar]. the ultimate Buddha. within your buddha nature. [’bras bu sangs rgyas kyi yon tan de da lta rang rgyud la yod par dam bca’ ba]. dharma and saṃgha are the wisdom of inseparable knowledge [shes rab] and compassion [snying rje]. he is also the ‘supreme among gatherings’. endowed with three aspects. The ‘resultant refuge’ is the commitment to acknowledge this fact for what it is [yin pa la yin par dam bca’ ba]. The ultimate [mthar thug pa] Buddha. I will achieve complete enlightenment. It is the thought. the three kayas.

they are unaware of the causes that lead to suffering. Suffering is temporary [glo bur ba] and is a state of delusion [’khrul pa]. Suffering is the opposite of buddhahood. . This. and the saṃgha as the support for happiness is considered to have fulfilled the minimum requirement to be a member of the Mahāyāna saṃgha. The resultant refuge covers the inner. Text section 164: Let the three jewels constantly abide in your mind.224 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The practitioner who understands this with acceptance. This is because all sentient beings are endowed with the perfect buddha nature.” You must develop the heartfelt wish to liberate beings from all suffering of saṃsāric existence and peaceful nirvāṇa. Thus. and the support for happiness [bde ba’i grogs] is the saṃgha. as the essence of their minds. the dharma as the cause for happiness. Suffering is called saṃsāra. The genuine worldly view entails abandoning the ten non-virtuous actions and practicing the ten virtuous actions. and to the saṃgha as those whose minds are endowed with the dharma as the perfect support [grogs] while on the path to enlightenment. “I will accomplish the ultimate three jewels. Bring to mind that all sentient beings are naturally inclined toward happiness. secret and ultimate refuge. You must understand that unless you reach the same realization as the Buddha. committing to become just like the Buddha. and who thinks. This natural aspiration to happiness is a sign that beings are actually endowed with the buddha nature. The causal refuge does not enable one to liberate oneself and all beings from the suffering and fears of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa because causal refuge does not incorporate the ultimate three jewels. gaining the same realization. you will not be truly able to help all sentient beings. The practitioner must also be motivated by love and compassion for all sentient beings. one commits to the Buddha as the perfect teacher [lam ston mkhan] of the path to enlightenment. although they are simply not aware of it. You need strong courage motivated by compassion. the state of perfect happiness. The Buddha is the condition for happiness [bde ba’i rkyen]. Remember that the buddha nature is the ultimate state of happiness. Whoever accepts the Buddha as the condition for happiness. Causal refuge is also called the ‘relative refuge’ or ‘outer refuge’. “In order to liberate all sentient beings I will attain enlightenment. commitment and decisiveness. The cause for happiness [bde ba’i rgyu] is the dharma. to be free from suffering. Jigme Lingpa defines the Mahāyāna saṃgha as ‘all beings who are endowed with the genuine worldly view’ [’jig rten yang dag pa’i lta ba].” is practicing the ultimate refuge. the resultant refuge means commitment to the fruition [’bras bu la dam bca’ ba]. the law of cause and effect. the ultimate state of happiness. It further entails taking the three jewels as one’s teacher and believing in karma. Beings are confused about the causes that lead to happiness [bde ba’i rgyu]. thinking. to the dharma as the perfect path [’gro lam] to enlightenment. Although beings want to be happy.

and the latter considers the benefit for others. That aspiration by itself constitutes the resultant refuge. Therefore. “I go for refuge in order to attain perfect enlightenment” is refuge. you are practicing bodhicitta. and Ārya Vimuktasena [’phags pa rnam grol sde] was supreme in prajñāpāramitā [sher phyin]. you should know the difference between the Hinayāna and the Mahāyāna style of going for refuge. Lord Atiśa and so on. They differ in motivation [bsam pa / kun slong]. “I go for refuge in order to establish all sentient beings on the level of enlightenment” is bodhicitta. Text section 165: Longchen Rabjam wrote that the difference between resultant refuge and bodhicitta of aspiration comes down to the difference between benefiting oneself and benefiting others. a student of the great Indian scholar Acārya Vasubandhu. If you aspire to become the three jewels for the sake of all sentient beings. “I go for refuge until I have attained enlightenment. Refuge by itself does not require this expansion. the motivation to take refuge for the sake of all sentient beings. He said that the wish. Sthiramati [blo gro brtan pa] was supreme in abhidharma [mngon pa].” Text sections 167-170: Although you might not practice refuge according to the Hinayāna teachings. If that aspect is lacking. This issue was widely discussed by Indian and Tibetan scholars such as Acārya Sthiramati. The former considers the benefit for oneself.” There is a commitment for one’s own benefit. and a commitment for the sake of others. to become the Buddha. Atiśa said that the resultant refuge of Mahāyāna has a twofold commitment: “I will establish all sentient beings on the level of enlightenment. and in order to do that I will attain complete enlightenment. one’s refuge becomes a Hīnayāna refuge. and in regard to the object of refuge [skyabs yul]. . while the wish. One might wonder whether or not the resultant refuge [’bras skyabs] and the bodhicitta of aspiration [smon sems] are the same. in time frame [dus]. Mahāyāna refuge always needs to have the bodhicitta aspect of going for refuge. to establish all beings on the level of the buddhahood. Dignāga [phyogs kyi glang po] was supreme in pramāṇa [tshad ma].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 225 If you aspire to become the three jewels. while bodhicitta is based on this very expansion. you are practicing the resultant refuge. The scriptures often define the bodhicitta of aspiration as the commitment to the fruition [’bras bu la dam bca’ ba smon pa'i sems bskyed] and the bodhicitta of application as the commitment to the cause [rgyu la dam bca’ ba ’jug pa sems bskyed]. Acārya Vasubandhu had four students who were superior to himself: Guṇaprabha [yon tan ’od] was supreme in vinaya [’dul ba]. You have already expanded your mind beyond the confines of your own personal interests to the wider welfare of all sentient beings.

The word nirvāṇa means ‘transcending suffering’ [myang ngan las ’das pa]. . Nirvāṇa is that which is beyond the truth of suffering and the truth of the origination of suffering. Whoever [gang zhig] means ‘whoever the sentient beings may be’ [sems can gang zhig]. (Thus) to nirvāṇa. the ‘once-returner’ and the ‘non-returner’.” Thus the vinaya literature explains. That which is beyond suffering and the origination of suffering is called nirvāṇa. (to the truth of cessation alone). The ‘path of learning’ [slob pa’i lam] refers to the ‘stream-enterer’. How does a Hīnayāna practitioner perceive the Buddha? He perceives the Buddha to be a product of the path of no-more-learning [mi slob pa’i lam]. The time-span is “from today onwards until I die. the truth of cessation [’gog bden]. This dharma is the object of refuge. and To the dharma of both learning and (no-more-learning). on the highest level. Therefore. Goes for refuge to the three [gsum la skyabs su ’gro ba] means ‘goes for refuge to the three jewels’ [dkon mchog gsum]. which brings forth the saṃgha. refuge in the Buddha is going for refuge to the dharma of no-more-learning. ‘transcending suffering’. This dharma of cessation is the object of refuge. The ultimate truth of the path is that which has brought all of Buddha’s formerly existing afflictions to an end [snga yod gyi nyon mongs pa thams cad zad pa] and which keeps all afflictions from ever rising up again [slar mi skye bar shes pa’i lam bden mthar thug pa]. the ultimate truth of the path [lam bden mthar thug pa]. ‘Suffering’ refers to the truth of suffering [sdug bsngal gyi bden pa] and the truth of origination [kun 'byung gi bden pa]. Nirvāṇa is the dharma of cessation [’gog pa’i chos].” The Hinayāna object of refuge [skabs yul] is the dharma of cessation [’gog pa’i chos]. The Hīnayāna practitioner considers the Buddha’s mind to be endowed with the ultimate truth of the path [lam bden mthar thug pa]. which brings about the Buddha and the saṃgha. to the Buddha. It is the dharma of realization that dwells in the mind [thugs rtogs pa’i chos] of the Buddha and in the mind of the saṃgha. The path of ‘no-more-learning’ [mi slob pa’i lam] refers to the arhats and. “In order to liberate myself from the fears of saṃsāra and attain peaceful nirvāṇa I go for refuge until the end of this life. Vasubandhu describes the objects of refuge for the followers of the Hīnayāna in his Abhidharma-koṣa-kārikā: Whoever goes for refuge to the three (jewels) Goes for refuge to the dharma of no-more-learning which brings forth the Buddha. which brings forth the Buddha [sangs rgyas byed pa’i chos mi slob pa].226 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The Hinayāna practitioner takes refuge with the motivation.

is the truth of cessation. the obscuration of afflictions [nyon sgrib] and the obscuration of cognition [shes sgrib]. when he was a perfectly enlightened buddha. Taking refuge in the dharma means to take refuge in the dharma of cessation. refuge in the saṃgha is going for refuge to the dharma of both learning and no-more-learning. The saṃgha. which are both the dharma. The saṃgha members have overcome only the obscuration of afflictions. The truth of the path is nothing other than the ‘wisdom that realizes egolessness’ [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. his body is regarded as the body of an ordinary being and is not an object of refuge. which dwells in the minds of the saṃgha. empty shells subject to the truth of suffering. identical with nirvāṇa. an empty shell that is subject to the truth of suffering [sdug bsngal bden pa’i lhag ma]. free from all desire. Refuge to the dharma is going for refuge to the truth of cessation. was married and had a child. when he was still an ordinary being [so skye] and after his enlightenment. which dwells in the Buddha’s mind. which bring forth the saṃgha [dge ’dun du byed pa’i chos slob mi slob gnyis ka].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 227 The Hīnayāna practitioner does not go for refuge to the body of the Buddha [sangs rgyas kyi gzugs sku] because he does not see any difference between the Buddha’s body before his enlightenment. The body of the Buddha is considered a residual. is the realization [rtogs pa] of the truth of the path of no-more-learning. Taking refuge in the Buddha in the Hinayāna tradition means to take refuge in the wisdom dwelling in his mind—the realization of the truth of the path [thugs la yod pa’i lam bden rtogs pa’i ye shes]. Taking refuge in the saṃgha means to take refuge in the minds of . This describes the three jewels in the Hinayāna tradition. How does a Hīnayāna practitioner perceive the dharma? He perceives the dharma to be nirvāṇa [mya ngan ’das pa]. becoming the completely enlightened Buddha. to nirvāṇa. That is his only refuge. is the realization of the path of learning and the path of no-more-learning. How does a Hīnayāna practitioner perceive the saṃgha? He perceives the saṃgha to be the product of both the path of learning and the path of no-more-learning. the overcoming of all obscurations—all of which dwells in the minds of the Buddha and the saṃgha. This realization is dwelling in the mind of the Buddha and in the minds of the members of the noble saṃgha. as the object of refuge. as the object of refuge. The Buddha. as the object of refuge. sitting on his seat in front of the Bodhi Tree. This truth of the path is the object of refuge. Since he still had the same karma-produced body of the former Prince Siddhārtha. But note that only the Buddha himself has overcome all obscurations. Then he renounced his worldly life and perfected all five paths in one night. Therefore. the truth of cessation alone [’gog bden gcig pu]. The dharma. A Hīnayāna practitioner considers the minds of the saṃgha members to be endowed with the truth of the path. The bodies of the saṃgha members are also considered residuals. Buddha as King Śuddhodana’s son with the name Siddhārtha [don grub] is regarded as an ordinary being [so so’i skye bo] who lived a worldly life.

the truth of the path [lam bden bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. then enlightenment is achieved. Going for refuge on such a vast scale cannot be practiced by smallminded people. which covers the enlightened essence. buddha nature [rig pa bde gshegs snying po]. endnote 110: “The Point of Enlightenment (byang chub snying po. the essence of awakening’ or ‘until I have attained buddhahood’ [sangs rgyas ma thob gyi bar du]. the embodiment of the statements and realizations [lung dang rtogs pa’i bdag nyid]. Any statement you make about it can only be relative. This very state is the essence of your mind.228 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations the saṃgha members who have realized the wisdom of egolessness. i. Once your own awareness wisdom has been actualized [mgnon du gyur ba]. Vajrāsana.” The phrase equal to the reaches of space [nam mkha’ dang mnyam pa] in these lines of refuge has a very extraordinary significance. I go for refuge to the sublime dharma. one should practice going for refuge with the following motivation. the buddha nature [bde gshegs snying po]. The phrase until I attain the essence of awakening124 or ‘until I arrive at the essence of awakening’ [byang chub snying por mchis kyi bar / slebs kyi bar du] means ‘until I have attained stability in awareness wisdom. equal in number to the farthest reaches of space. The extension of space cannot be fathomed by the mind. as many as exist throughout the reaches of space…” is a phrase that does not appear in any other religious tradition. which means stabilized [brtan pa thob pa]. “All beings.e. and ‘buddha nature’ [bde gshegs snying po] all refer to the same enlightened state. Do not harbor any concepts about buddha nature. from now until the attainment of the ‘essence of enlightenment’ [byang chub snying po]. The dualistic mind is like a husk [shun pa]. Space has no center or periphery. bodhinaṇḍa) refers to the outer place and time at which Śākyamuni and other buddhas attained manifest enlightenment. the Indestructible Seat. skr. Text section 171 / stanza 26: In the Mahāyāna tradition. but is the practice of those who follow the Mahāyāna teachings. and to the secret Point of Enlightenment which is the buddha-body of indestructible reality (vajrakāya). at Bodhgayā. It is nothing other than your own awareness wisdom [rang rig pa’i ye shes]. composed of karma [las] and afflictions [nyon rmongs pa]. and I go for refuge to the gathering of the noble saṃgha of bodhisattvas. the embodiment of the four kayas and five wisdoms [sku bzhi ye shes lnga’i bdag nyid].” . The absolute is not within the reach of the intellect [don dam blo yi spyod yul min]. The essence of awakening [byang chub snying po] means the very core. I go for refuge to the Buddha. to the inner Point of Enlightenment which is the Akaniṣṭha realm. on the level of perfect enlightenment. The terms ‘essence of awakening’ [byang chub snying po]. Text section 172: 124 Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. ‘buddha essence’ [sangs rgyas kyi snying po]. There is no enlightenment apart from awareness. which differs from that of a Hinayāna practitioner: “In order to place all sentient beings.

Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 229 Going for refuge in the Hinayāna and Mahāyāna traditions also differ in terms of timespan [dus kyi khyad pa]. Thus. Just as an infant cannot look at the shape of the sun from the house where it has just been born. as well as the place where the buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon attain enlightenment. The tree is a symbol for solitude [dben pa’i rtags]. This marks the time-span for going for refuge to the three jewels on an outer level. the natural state of buddha nature. The bodhi tree is also called the ‘royal bodhi tree’ [byang chub shing gi rgyal po] and ‘essence of awakening’ [byang chub snying po]. one has become enlightened. Maitreya said in the Uttaratantra: Even the noble ones (cannot see the buddha nature). One sits in the vajra-like samādhi until one has reached complete enlightenment. btsas-pa’i khyim-nas bu-chung gis // nyi-ma’i-gzugs bzhin ’phags-pas kyang // Buddha or buddha nature is wisdom. The Buddha Amitabha sat in front of the bodhi tree called Illuminating Jewel Lotus [rin chen padmo rnam par snang byed]. All buddhas of this fortunate aeon [bhadra kalpa] will attain enlightenment under the royal bodhi tree [byang chub shing dbang] in Bodhgayā. Therefore. bodhisattvas and great bodhisattvas cannot see buddha nature in the same way as Buddha. Even the noble beings. Only the Buddha himself can perceive the dharmakāya as it really is. Just as all buddhas of the three times attain enlightenment under a bodhi tree. the phrase essence of awakening can be understood as the name of the bodhi tree under which Buddha Śākyamuni attained enlightenment. pratyekabuddhas. Buddha is not within the reach of ‘worldly meditation’ [‘jig rten pa’i bsgom . The various buddhas that appeared in different aeons or different realms have all attained enlightenment under their own personal bodhi trees. Text sections 173-174: The 26th stanza of the Bodhicharyavatara states: “I go for refuge to the buddhas until I attain the essence of awakening” [byang chub snying por bar]. The buddhas attain enlightenment by meditating alone in a forest. In the Mahāyāna tradition one does not go for refuge merely until the end of one’s life but until the attainment of enlightenment. Khenpo Kunpal gives a commentary on the phrase essence of awakening. the arhats. on an outer level one goes for refuge until one has also attained complete enlightenment under a bodhi tree. Once the natural state of buddha nature as it is has been realized. On an inner level the time-span for going for refuge to the three jewels is marked by sitting in the vajra-like samādhi until one has completely realized awareness. not by practicing within a city. not the object of thoughts. extremely subtle [shin tu phra ba].

The qualities of the first set pertain to those that are of perfect benefit to oneself [rang don phun sum tshogs pa].230 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations pa]. whose eyes are too sensitve to bear the light of the sun. Text section 175-177: The understanding of the extraordinary three jewels in the Mahāyāna tradition differs from the interpretation of the three jewels in the Hinayāna tradition. This is exactly what Buddha or buddha nature is not. (2) spontaneously present. Likewise. spontaneously present. Bodhisattvas and yogins have partial glimpses of dharmakāya [chos sku’i cha shas]. since bodhisattvas on the tenth level still have not overcome all obscurations of cognition [shes sgrib] and therefore have not actualized [mngon du ma gyur ba] non-dual wisdom [gnyis su med pa’i ye shes]. (3) Not realized through external conditions. (2) Spontaneously present [lhun gyis grub pa] refers to the aspect of the cognizant nature [rang bzhin gsal ba’i cha] of buddha nature. conditioned. the special qualities of Buddha. A newborn infant. (5) love and (6) power— Such is the Buddha. (1) Uncompounded [’dus ma byas] refers to the aspect of the empty essence [ngo bo stong pa’i cha] of buddha nature. and deceptive [bslu ba can]. which means the qualities that benefit the Buddha for himself [sangs rgyas kho rang la yod pa’i yon tan]. The first set consists of three qualities: uncompounded. defiling [zag pa]. endowed with the hallmark of twofold benefit. but not the unhindered outlook of the Buddha. the qualities of the Buddha that are directed to other people [gzhan la bltos pa’i yon tan]. If something is newly created. The qualities of the second set pertain to those that are of perfect benefit to others [gzhan don phun sum tshogs pa]. It is primordial emptiness. subject to suffering. ’dus ma byas shing lhun gyis grub gzhan gyi rkyen gyis rtogs min pa mkhyen dang brtse dang nus par ldan don gnyis ldan pas sangs rgyas nyid This Mahāyāna description of the qualities of the Buddha is divided into two sets. The empty essence is not compounded or newly created by causes and conditions [rgyu rkyen gyis ’dus ma byad pa]. belonging to the skandha of formation [’du byed]. Maitreya’s Uttara Tantra describes the qualities of the Buddha in the following manner: (1) Uncompounded. Endowed with (4) knowledge. All qualities of buddha nature come from . and not realized through external conditions. not even noble beings who dwell on any of the ten bodhisattva levels can see the dharmakāya as the Buddha can. Dualistic consciousness [rnam shes] can never perceive buddha nature as it really is [gnas lugs ji lta ba bzhin du]. dharma and saṃgha according to Mahāyāna. lacks the capacity to look at the sun itself. Concerning the distinction of the object [yul gyi khyad pa] of going for refuge. it must be impermanent [mi rtag pa].

Buddha nature is beyond the reach of words and thoughts. and b) the knowledge of all there is to know [ji rnyed pa mkhyen pa]. something that can only be realized by ‘one’s own individual awareness wisdom’ [so sor rang rig pa’i ye shes]. If an ordinary . which is total realization of the absolute natural state [don dam gyi gnas lugs]. Buddha’s love is free from concepts [dmigs pa med pa’i brtse ba]. There is no Buddha other than wisdom [sangs rgyas nyid ye shes yin gyi ye shes las gzhan du ’gyur ba’i sang rgyas med]. wisdom that is uncompounded and spontaneously present. and they do not come about as something new [gsar du ’byung ba ma red]. voice [gsung]. from the most refined to the most gross levels. His love does not increase for special people nor does it diminish for inferior beings. speech and mind are nothing other than wisdom. but only through the effortless and self-existing Great Perfection itself. the true buddha nature. It is inconceivable and inexpressible. They do not need to be created or made up. Compared to Buddha’s love. and not realized through external conditions—are the ‘three perfect qualities that benefit oneself’ [rang don gyi yon tan phun sum tshogs pa gsum]. Milarepa said. This wisdom is in oneself and can only be realized by oneself. the first is (4) knowledge [mkhyen pa].e. qualities [yon tan]. Buddha’s knowledge is twofold: a) the knowledge of the natural state [ji lta ba mkhyen pa]. He knows everything about the person’s countless lifetimes down to the most minute detail.” All qualities of the Buddha are nothing other than wisdom. omniscience. It is allknowing and all-seeing simultaneously from every aspect and direction. mind [thugs]. Buddha’s love extends to all sentient beings. the first set of qualities. spontaneously present. if he somehow had true love for all sentient beings like the Buddha does. These three—uncompounded. the love a mother has for her child is very small. The second set of qualities consists of the three qualities that bestow perfect benefits on others. The words Buddha [sangs rgyas] and wisdom [ye shes] are synonymous. All qualities are primordial and spontaneously present [yon tan thams cad ye nas lhun gyis grub pa]. Since an ordinary being is still involved in concepts.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 231 this cognizant aspect. These two aspects—uncompounded and spontaneously present—are the real Buddha. the real wisdom [ye shes]. and activities [phrin las]. At the same time he knows every atom in the person’s body down to the most refined level. not indirectly or through deduction [rjes dpag]. It includes every field of knowledge [shes bya]. which is knowledge of all relative phenomena [kun rdzob gyi chos]. “The Buddha himself is wisdom. This is the knowledge of everything from all aspects [kun nas kun tu mkhyen pa]. This wisdom cannot be realized through the vehicles that rely on striving [rtsol bcas kyi theg pa]. everything from front to back. Buddha can simultaneously see the body of a person from all sides. Of these. Buddha knows everything directly [mgnon sum]. Buddha’s body. he would be unable to bear it. i. His love for all beings is utterly impartial and unconditional. from inside out. The second quality benefiting other beings is (5) love [brtse ba]. (3) Not realized through external conditions [gzhan gyi rkyen gyis rtogs min pa].. ‘Qualities’ refers to the qualities of body [sku].

To us this seems as bizarre as counting the five fingers plus the hand to get six. If one adds the benefit for oneself and the benefit for others. those that benefit oneself and those that benefit others. Text sections 178-179: . This power to manifest the three kayas externally is the actual emanation [sprul sku] of the Buddha. heard. and the nirmāṇakāya appears to those with impure perception.232 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations person saw the suffering of the world as the Buddha does. then non-conceptual love and compassion for all sentient beings will naturally shine forth. one can count eight. from the first level onward until the tenth. Even meeting his relics in stūpas. The basic distinction [dbye gzhi] made in regard to Buddha’s qualities is between the two sets of qualities. The Buddha has the power to manifest his qualities in the perception of others so that he can be seen. These are the six main qualities of the Buddha. the unity of all three kayas. Only when emptiness is realized can one bear such love and knowledge. qualities and activities appear in the perception of others. compassion and power all manifest from his realization of the natural state. mind. the essence of one’s mind. hears his voice or thinks of him. love. that person would collapse and die. The third quality benefiting other beings is (6) power [nus pa]. According to one explanation [bshad stangs]. The Buddha has the power to benefit whoever sees his body. because ‘benefit to oneself’ and ‘benefit to others’ are counted as two additional qualities. When one has truly recognized the natural state. while according to another explanation. These three—knowledge. The dharmakāya is perceived by the Buddha alone.¸his unceasing activities on behalf of all sentient beings. Thus. voice. The Buddha is also described as being endowed with three or four kayas. The Indian way of counting results in a total of eight qualities. Buddha’s knowledge. touched and met. The three kayas are dharmakāya. or visiting places where he lived have tremendous benefits. the saṃbhogakāya is perceived by all bodhisattvas. and power—are the ‘three perfect qualities for others’ [gzhan don gyi yon tan phun sum tshogs pa gsum]. only those bodhisattvas who dwell on the tenth level are able to perceive the saṃbhogakāya. The word ‘power’ [nus pa] also connotes ‘activity’ [phrin las]. These infinite qualities of body. each to a different degree. The fourth kaya is the svabhāvikakāya. These eight qualities are the hallmark of a buddha. the saṃbhogakāya is perceived by the bodhisattvas. That is why he is called the ‘unexcelled precious teacher’ [ston pa bla med rin po che]. the benefiting qualities of the Buddha are divided into six subdivisions [dbye ba’i ya gyal du byas pas]. The Buddha is described as the Buddha endowed with the eight qualities [yon tan brgyad ldan gyi sangs rgyas]. saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya. Ordinary beings are protected by their ignorance from really knowing the suffering of others. Power also means that the Buddha is endowed with the methods [thabs] to truly overcome all afflictions and all suffering.

but not in the ‘truth of suffering’ or in the ‘truth of origination’. anger [zhe sdang]. the three wisdom qualities of cessation are realized. which is based in dualistic fixation. These qualities are divided into two sets.” Identifying suffering and understanding its nature is crucial. The method [thabs] to overcome the origination of suffering is the truth of the path. and the second set consists of the three qualities of the truth of the path [lam gyi yon tan gsum]. The first set consists of the three qualities of the truth of cessation [’gog pa’i yon tan gsum]. The very cause of afflictions is ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. There are three wisdom qualities belonging to the truth of cessation and three wisdom qualities belonging to the truth of the path.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 233 The special qualities of the dharma according to Maitreya’s Uttara Tantra are the following: (1) Inconceivable. bsam med gnyis med rtog med pa dag gsal gnyen po'i phyogs nyid kyi gang zhig gang gis chags bral ba bden gnyis mtshan nyid can de chos The dharma is called the ‘dharma of realization. the very cause of karma is afflictions. (5) luminous and (6) having remedial power— That which is and that which frees one from craving Is the dharma. First. When one takes refuge in the dharma. one is taking refuge in the ‘truth of cessation’ and the ‘truth of the path’. “Suffering should be understood [ha go bar bya]. Among the four noble truths. Cessation is free from craving. they become dharma once they have been overcome. All afflictions such as desire [’dod chags]. (2) without two. The dharma is the truth of cessation and the truth of the path. The ‘origination’ of suffering is karma and afflictions [las dang nyon mongs pa]. (4) Pure. These six qualities plus the names of each set add up by the same unique style of counting to the eight qualities of the dharma. pride [nga rgyal] and jealousy [phrag dog] result from dualistic fixation or attachment. ignorance [gti mug]. . That which brings one to non-attachment or cessation is the path. but origination should be overcome [spang bar bya]. While suffering and the origination of suffering are not the actual dharma. Moreover. It is taught. (3) non-conceptual. The truth of suffering and its origination are things to overcome [spang bya]. endowed with eight qualities’ [yon tan brgyad ldan rtogs pa’i chos]. Through the three wisdom qualities of the path. let us examine the truth of cessation. not objects of refuge. The truth of suffering and the truth of origination are what must be overcome or rejected [spang bya]. endowed with the hallmark of the two truths. and the result of having overcome the origination of suffering is the truth of cessation. the truth of cessation and the truth of the path are called the dharma.

The third quality of cessation is the aspect of being (3) non-conceptual [rtog med]. (5) luminous. The dharma of cessation is beyond concepts [blo ’das]. Like the sun. This is the aspect of liberation [grol ba’i cha] after the obscuration of afflictions has been overcome. As Śāntideva said: Since the ultimate is not within the reach of intellect. . (4) Pure [dag pa] means to ‘be purified of temporary stains’ [blo bur gyi dri ma dag].234 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The first of the three qualities of cessation is the aspect of being (1) inconceivable [bsam med] because cessation cannot be penetrated by thoughts [bsam gyis mi khyab pa]. The intellect must be described as the relative. This is the remedial power of the dharma. meaning that the truth of cessation is without karma and afflictions [las dang nyon mongs pa med pa]. From that point forward the path becomes increasingly clear—luminous and pure. Wisdom perception is the capacity to understand and perceive everything with utter clarity. from the first bodhisttva level until enlightenment. The truth of cessation is realized through the truth of the path. (6) Having remedial power [gnyen po] means that the dharma. From the first bodhisattva level until the tenth. Both the obscuration of afflictions and the obscuration of cognition are absent. one has entered into the ‘path of liberation’ [rnam grol lam]. Cessation is without fixations and obscurations. This is the power of the dharma’s luminosity. The three qualities belonging to the truth of the path [lam gden gyi yon tan] are: (4) pure. stains remain to be purified along the path. inconceivable [ma bsam] and inexpressible [brjod med]. These three—inconceivable. karma and afflictions are also absent. wisdom perception arises luminously [ye shes kyi snang ba gsal ba]. Within cessation. Here. What needs to be overcome are the obscuration of afflictions and the obscuration of cognition. The truth of cessation is not an object of any of the 84. is the remedy for all afflictions [nyon mongs pa gnyen por gyur ba]. The overcoming of the obscuration of afflictions is the attainment of the first bhumi. As dualistic fixation or ego-clinging is absent. without two. meaning it is without thoughts. (5) Luminous [gsal ba] means that once all stains are purified. these three qualities are explained in reverse order. and (6) having remedial power. the first bodhisattva level.000 kinds of thoughts. and non-conceptual—are the three qualities of the truth of cessation [’gog bden gyi yon tan]. The remedy to all that should be overcome is called the ‘path without obstacles’ [bar chad med lam]. all thoughts—subtle and gross—are pacified [rnam rtog phra rags thams cad zhi ba]. The truth of cessation cannot be reached by intellect. Once one has overcome what must be overcome. don dam blo yi spyod yul min blo ni kun rdzob yin par brjod The second quality of cessation is the aspect of being (2) without two [gnyis med]. it illuminates all.

without two. one might ask . and (6) having remedial power [gnyen po]. it is (2) without two [gnyis med]. The cessation of the Buddha is utterly pure [dag pa]. Since cessation is the mere absence of afflictions according to the tradition of the śrāvakas. Craving [chags pa] is the craving of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i chags pa] or the craving of dualistic fixations [bzung ’dzin gnyis kyi chags pa]. That which is free from craving [gang zhig chags bral ba] refers to the three wisdom qualities of cessation: inconceivable. There are three kinds of cessation: the cessation of the arhats. (5) luminous [gsal ba]. [bsam gyis mi khyab pa]. That which is free from craving [chags pa dang bral ba] is called cessation. This is the power of the dharma’s purity. plus the two truths themselves are counted as the eight qualities of the dharma. through the path which frees one from craving. Craving includes the obscurations of afflictions and of cognition. Because the truth of cessation cannot be penetrated by thoughts. Because it is the absence of karma and afflictions [las dang nyon mongs pa med pa]. Stated simply. Based on these three wisdom qualities of the path [lam gyi ye shes gsum]. Only the Buddha is stainless or totally pure of all obscurations. the fewer stains remain to be purified. it is (3) non-conceptual [rtog med pa]. luminous. The higher one progresses along the path. Text section 180: The truth of cessation [gog bden] is the overcoming of afflictions [nyon mongs pa spong ba’i bral cha]. it is (1) inconceivable Cessation is attained through that which frees one from craving [gang gis ’dod chags dang bral ba]. These are the three ultimate qualities of cessation (1-3). the three-fold wisdom of cessation will arise [’gog pa’i ye shes gsum]. This refers to the three wisdom qualities of the path: (4) pure [dag pa]. The dharma has the hallmark of the two truths [bden gnyis mtshan nyid can de chos]: the truth of the path and the truth of cessation. and non-conceptual. the cessation of the bodhisattvas. It is the extraordinary knowledge and wisdom of the Buddha. free from temporary stains. endowed with eight qualities and possessing the hallmark of the two truths. It is the absence of afflictions [nyon mongs pa med pa’i cha]. that which is free from craving [gang zhig ’dod chags dang bral ba]. Cessation is free from all craving. That is the definition of the dharma. Its wisdom perception is luminous [ye shes kyi snang ba gsal ba]. and having remedial power. the three qualities of the truth of the path. Because all thoughts are pacified. That which frees one from craving [gang gis chags bral ba] refers to the abovementioned three wisdom qualities of the path: pure. It is having remedial power [gnyen po] for all afflictions. and the cessation of the Buddha.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 235 Once one has entered into the ‘path of special progress’ [khyad par du ’gro ba’i lam]. one arrives at cessation. The three qualities of the truth of cessation. This is the ‘dharma of realization’ [rtogs pa’i chos]. one gradually progresses higher and higher. which is free from craving.

This expanse is called ‘cessation’ within the context of Mahāyāna. The ultimate truth of the path is called the ‘wisdom dharmakāya’ [lam bden mthar thug ye shes chos sku]. The followers of the Gelukpa school state that the expanse and the wisdom are separate. which is an expanse or emptiness inseparable from wisdom. The ‘expanse of absolute truth’ [chos kyi dbyings] and the ‘wisdom of the expanse of absolute truth’ [chos kyi dbyings kyi ye shes] are inseparable. they are inseparable. Khenpo Kunpal explains that cessation is the the outcome [bzhag pa] or the result of having realized the truth of the path [lam bden rtogs pa’i lag rjes]. how can there be any realization? To clarify this issue. . ‘result’ [lag rjes] and ‘fruition’ [’bras bu] have the same connotation in this context. through the truth of the path [lam bden gyis] one achieves the expanse free from craving [chags pa dang bral ba’i dbyings gang zhig]. It is the unity of emptiness [stong pa nyid] and wisdom [ye shes]. One cannot separate the expanse from the wisdom. the sūtra piṭaka [mdo sde’i sde snod]. Cessation and path are the ‘dharma of realization’ [rtogs pa’i chos]. One would expect that the attainment of cessation would bring about ‘a newly born realization that was previously not present’ [sngar med gsar du skyes pa’i rtogs pa]. that they are different. This is the heart of the teachings of the Old School [rnying ma pa]. That is called cessation. The ‘wisdom of statements’ is the wisdom that knows the statements of the tripiṭaka [lung sde snod gsum ha go ba’i ye shes]. It can also be divided into the twelve sections of scriptures [gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis]. the ultimate truth of cessation is called the ‘expanse dharmakāya’ [’gog bden mthar thug dbyings chos sku]. The real cessation is ‘not just mere emptiness’ [stong pa stong kyang ma yin pa]. instead only the absence of afflictions is mentioned. and the abhidharma piṭaka [mngon pa’i sde snod]. and is therefore classified under the ‘dharma of realization’. This emptiness or expanse is inseparable from wisdom. But no newly born realization is mentioned. The wisdom of the tripiṭaka is within the minds 125 The terms ‘outcome’ [bzhag pa]. Generally. As the cessation of the śrāvaka is described as the ceasing of all activities of mind and mental patterns [sems dang sems byung thams cad kyi rgyu ba ’gag pa]. Text section 181: The dharma of statements [lung gi chos] refers to the tripiṭaka [sde snod gsum]: the vinaya piṭaka [’dul ba’i sde snod]. The iconography of the Nyingma School expresses this unity of expanse and wisdom as Samantabhadra and Samantabhadri in union. while the viewpoint of the Nyingma School is: “Expanse and wisdom are inseparable [dbyings dang ye shes tha dad med pa].236 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations whether or not the truth of cessation can still be classified under the dharma of realization [rtogs pa’i chos].125 Therefore.” This is a very important point.

The Mahāyāna saṃgha are the special friends of a practitioner who goes for refuge. All the buddhas and bodhisattvas train in discipline and samādhi and hold knowledge in their minds. The śrāvaka arhats and the pratyekabuddha arhats are counted as noble saṃgha. They accompany the practitioner only part of the way. ji lta ji snyed nang gi ni ye shes gzigs pa dag pas na . The bodhisattvas lead the practitioner from the smaller path of accumulation [tshogs lam chung nga] up to the level of complete enlightenment. The ‘real’ dharma is the mind that has realized this wisdom. Text sections 182-184: The saṃgha [dge ’dun] are the noble ones of the Mahāyāna who have attained the level of non-returners. The dharma of realization [rtogs pa’i chos] refers to the three precious trainings [bslab pa rin po che rnam pa gsum]: the training in discipline [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa]. (2) all there is. The wise belong to the gathering of non-returners And are thus endowed with unexcelled qualities. the training in samādhi [ting nge 'dzin gyi bslab pa]. Accord with [rgyu mthun pa] has the same meaning as ‘to be of the same kind’ [rigs mthun pa] or ‘to be beneficial to’ [phan ’dogs pa]. and the training in knowledge [shes rab kyi bslab pa].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 237 of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas who hold the knowledge of having realized the teachings of the tripiṭaka [lung sde snod gsum rtogs pa’i shes rab]. just as wood is beneficial to fire whereas water is not. Maitreya defines the hallmarks of the saṃgha in the Uttara Tantra: (1) As it is. all those who have attained the first bodhisattva level and will not fall back into saṃsāra. one should understand that the sublime dharma is the wisdom of statements and the wisdom of realization in the minds of the Buddha and the bodhisattvas. not to complete enlightenment like the bodhisattvas do. The ‘wisdom of realization’ is the wisdom that comes from practicing the three trainings [rtogs pa bslab pa gsum nyams len byed pa’i ye shes]. When (obscurations) are purified (4. In that way. The Hinayāna saṃgha are considered the ‘close friends’ [nye ba’i grogs po] of the practitioners while the bodhisattvas are considered the ‘most intimate friends’ [shin tu nye ba’i grogs po]. They are not the real dharma. but they do not belong to the Mahāyāna saṃgha as they can lead the practitioner only to the level of an arhat. because they will accompany the practitioner until enlightenment.6).5. The Buddhist books and scriptures are the representations of or substitutes [tshab] for the sublime dharma. their goal is the level of Hinayāna cessation. The arhats do not aspire to attain enlightenment. and (3) the inner— These are wisdom perceptions.

the bodhisattva has recognized the buddha nature directly. and inner awareness wisdom. the wish to liberate all beings from their non-recognition of the buddha nature and to lead them to complete enlightenment naturally arises in his mind. Thus. Due to this insight. which will be explained below. A bodhisattva sees that the empty essence of buddha nature is endowed with knowledge [shes rab] and wisdom [ye shes]. A bodhisattva of the first level directly [mngon sum] realizes the natural state. They possess the three qualities of knowledge [rig pa’i yon tan gsum] and the three qualities of liberation [grol ba’i yon tan gsum]. free from all distinctions. those who are endowed with wisdom. Therefore. the bodhisattva can never . This is the true source of the bodhisattvas’s non-conceptual compassion [dmigs pa med pa’i snying rje]. but his wisdom perception is still obscured. are endowed with buddha nature. He knows that the all-encompassing responsiveness [thugs rje kun khyab] of buddha nature is endowed with the potential to attain liberation and enlightenment. A completely enlightened buddha has unlimited. The saṃgha are those who dwell on the path. those who do not fall back into saṃsāra. he knows that all beings have the potential to attain perfect enlightenment. He sees the moon directly. all there is. He knows directly that all beings. Therefore. In the same way. The non-returners [phyir mi ldog pa] in this context are the bodhisattvas from the first level onward. These three are called wisdom perception [ye shes gzigs pa] or the three qualities of knowledge—as it is. he will perceive the buddha nature in others.238 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations blo ldan phyir mi ldog pa’i tshogs bla med yon tan dang ldan nyid The eight qualities of knowledge and liberation are the hallmark of the saṃgha [rig grol yon tan brgyad dge ’dun ’phags pa’i mtshan nyid]. he recognizes (1) the wisdom of knowing the natural state as it is [ji lta ba mkhyen pa’i ye shes / rig pa]. but not clearly. A limited aspect of this knowledge arises with the first bodhisattva level and increases from there on. without exception. Consequently. love [brtse ba] and capacity [nus pa] primordially present within their buddha nature. His wisdom perception sees that the buddha nature is present in all sentient beings. To the extent that the bodhisattva has recognized the natural state as it is. He perceives that the cognizant nature of the buddha nature is endowed with love [brtse ba] and compassion [snying rje]. The three qualities of knowledge are the three kinds of wisdom: (1) the wisdom that knows the natural state as it is [ji lta ba mkhyen pa'i ye shes]. total omniscience. the buddha nature. but not clearly. he knows that all beings have the buddha qualities of knowledge [mkhyen pa]. In this verse Maitreya lists only the qualities of knowledge but not the qualities of liberation. He truly and directly sees it present in all beings and knows that it is the same buddha nature in all beings. (2) the wisdom that sees all there is [ji snyed pa mkhyen pa'i ye shes]. They are called the wise [blo dang ldan pa]. A bodhisattva is also endowed with (2) the wisdom that knows all there is to know [ji snyed mkhyen pa’i ye shes / rig pa]. and (3) one’s individual and distinct inner awareness wsidom [nang so so rang rig pa'i ye shes].

Awareness wisdom clearly ‘sees’. It perceives them ‘distinctly’ and ‘unmistakenly’ both through the knowledge of the natural state as it is and through the knowledge of all there is to know. the realization of individual distinct awareness wisdom dawns naturally. 126 gzhan dang ma’dres pas na so so / yul de dag gi ngo bo ma nor ba la rang / rig pa ni mthong ba’i don no / ye nas gnas pa’i shes pa yin pas na ye shes so. As the bodhisattva progresses on the path through the levels. Awareness wisdom perceives the essence of ‘all objects’. (5) the obscuration of cognitive limits [thogs sgrib]. At that level the bodhisattva perceives that his own buddha nature and the buddha nature in all sentient beings are identical. Awareness has the connotation of seeing. This concludes the explanation of the three qualities of knowledge: (1) as it is. (3) One’s individual and distinct inner awareness wisdom [nang so so rang rig pa’i ye shes / rig pa] is the non-duality [gnyis su med pa] of the wisdom of knowing the natural state as it is and the wisdom that knows all there is to know. and (3) inner. (2) all there is. He knows everything that exists throughout the three times. primordial knowledge. Now. without any difference [tha dad med pa]. It is a ‘knowledge’ or wakefulness [shes pa] that is not newly acquired. He understands the non-duality of the relative and the absolute. Maitreya says in the verse when (obscurations) are purified [dag pas na]. and never through thought. by its individual and distinct awareness wisdom.”126 Awareness wisdom does not mingle with anything and is therefore ‘individual’ and not common [thun mong ma yin pa]. The omniscience of the Buddha is infinite. to continue with the explanation of the three qualities of liberation. a knowledge that is ‘primordially’ the very essence of each being’s mind. which are liberation from (4) the obscuration of attachment [chags sgrib].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 239 forsake any being. implying liberation from these three obscurations. can only be known by itself. This primordial knowledge. ‘Individual’ has the connotation of alone. and (6) the obscuration of inferior motivation [dman sgrib]. Until one has reached that level of insight. One’s own individual and distinct awareness wisdom [so so rang rig pa’i ye shes] is the wisdom that recognizes one’s personal and individual mind essence. with which all sentient beings are endowed. are a non-duality [gnyis su med pa]. single [gcig pu]. he gradually attains ultimate omniscience. it is wisdom. . all phenomena that exist. Since it is unmistaken about the essence of all objects. it is distinct. knows and perceives everything. Since it is a knowledge that exists from the very beginning. Khenpo Pendze defines the phrase individual and distinct awareness wisdom [so so rang rig pa’i ye shes] in the following way: “Since it is not mingled with anything. it is individual. When the obscurations of afflictions and cognition are cleared away. Individual and distinct [so so rang] means that one must realize buddha nature by oneself for oneself. Therefore. one’s practice of compassion remains contrived and conceptual. the indivisibility of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa and so on.

Each of these two sets has three subdivisions. As it is said: Being endowed with eight qualities of the twofold benefits is the hallmark of the jewel of the Buddha. which obscure the genuine recognition of buddha nature. (5) the obscuration of cognition [shes bya’i sgrib pa]. The three qualities of liberation are also listed as liberation from: (4) the obscuration of afflictions [nyon mong gi sgrib]. The obscuration of meditative absorptions refers to the obscurations of samadhi [bsam gtan gi sgrib pa / ting nge ’dzin gi sgrib pa] that arise as long as the bodhisattva has not perfected his meditation skills [rtsal ma rdzogs]. he is free from the obscuration of knowledge [mkhyen pa’i sgrib pa]. Since Buddha. inferior motivation decreases. don gnyis yon tan brgyad ldan sangs rgyas dkon mchog gi mtshan nyid ‘gog lam yon tan brgyad ldan dam pa’i chos kyi mtshan nyid rig grol yon tan brgyad ldan ’phags pa’i dge ’dun gyi mtshan nyid Text section 185: . Everything will be clear and vividly known in his mind. His knowledge is unhindered and without limits. the basic distinctions [dbye gzhi] are knowledge [rig pa] and liberation [grol ba]. dharma and saṃgha are each endowed with eight qualities. he is liberated from cognitive limits. one can say that the three jewels of Mahāyāna are endowed with twenty-four qualities. Being endowed with eight qualities of cessation and path is the hallmark of the sublime dharma. Once the bodhisattva is liberated from the obscuration of cognition [shes bya’i sgrib pa]. which are the three qualities of knowledge and the three qualities of liberation. The obscuration of attachment means to be attached to whatever it may be.240 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Once the bodhisattva is liberated from the obscuration of afflictions [nyon mong gi sgrib pa]. he is liberated from the obscuration of inferior motivation [blo dman pa’i sgrib pa]. anger [zhe sdang]. he is liberated from the obscuration of attachment. The inferior motivation to practice for his own sake collapses. that is to say. and (6) the obscuration of meditative absorptions [snyoms ’jug gi sgrib pa]. To the extent egoclinging decreases. Being endowed with eight qualities of knowledge and liberation is the hallmark of the noble saṃgha. The obscuration of afflictions pertains to desire [’dod chags]. to have fixations [’dzin pa]. Then his knowledge is no longer obscured. are counted as the eight qualities of the saṃgha [rig grol yon tan brgyad]. The obscuration of cognition refers to dualistic fixations. Once the bodhisattva is freed from attachment to egotistic ideas [rang ’dod yid byed kyi zhen pa]. The three qualities of knowledge and the three qualities of liberation plus the two categories of knowledge and liberation themselves. Concerning the definition of saṃgha. ignorance [gti mug]. pride [nga rgyal] and jealousy [phrag dog].

2) not to steal [ma byin par len]. do not have the power to protect the beginner right away.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 241 The incomparable teacher is the Buddha. Teacher means the teacher of the path [lam ston pa po]. 4) not to lie [rdzun du smra ba]. Even someone who merely keeps the ‘eight precepts observed for one day’ [bsnyen gnas kyi sdom pa brgyad]127 has temporarily protected his mind from mistakes [nyes pa]128 and thus will take rebirth in the realm of the gods in his next life. 5) not to take intoxicating beverages [myos par ’gyur pa’i chang]. Rather he taught both the natural state. and not to wear ornaments [rgyan]. The incomparable protection is the dharma. There are many lay practitioners who keep these eight precepts once or twice a month. those who guide themselves and others to the higher levels. the incomparable sublime dharma is the actual refuge for the beginner. 128 Entry into dictionary: nyes ltung / nyes pas ltung ba / ngan song la ltung ba’i nyes pa – a mistake through which one falls into the three lower realms . listen to or play songs [glu] or music [rol mo]. garlands [phreng ba] or perfumes [spos nyug]. When students follow the Buddha’s instructions they themselves will attain liberation and enlightenment. the ultimate refuge is still Buddha himself. one protects oneself from the suffering of saṃsāra and the lower realms. and 8) not to eat after midday [dus ma yin pa’i kha zas]. 127 The eight precepts observed for one day are: 1) not to kill [srog gcod pa]. the buddha nature and the methods for practicing the path that leads to the realization of this wisdom. Buddha does not have the power to wash away the negative deeds or wipe off the defilements of beings with his hands. 6) not to dance [gar]. because the disciple wants to reach the same level as the Buddha. The incomparable guide is the saṃgha. Therefore. Simply praying to the Buddha is not sufficient for liberation. 7) not to sleep on a high or large bed [khri stan che mtho]. Nor does he have the power to transfer his wisdom realization to other people. Buddha and saṃgha. thus granting them instant enlightenment. 3) not to have sexual intercourse [mi tshangs par spyod pa]. Text sections 186-187: Although for a beginner the dharma is the real refuge. Simply keeping these eight precepts is already the practice of dharma. the ultimate peace. protecting against all suffering [sdug bsngal las skyobs pa po]. The eight precepts observed for one day are very important for all upāsakas. The two other objects of refuge. lay practitioners. The dharma must be practiced as it is the method that will take the disciple to enlightenment. Text section 188: If one practices the sublime dharma. The sublime dharma is so powerful that even limited practice brings about significant results. The dharma gives the beginner the actual means and methods to overcome suffering. A lay practitioner should keep these precepts regularly on either the full or new moon days.

of sexual misconduct. then. then. of taking what has not been given. Text sections 189-192: The objects of refuge are considered differently in sūtra and tantra. he obtains the status of an ‘upāsaka who holds most (of the five) commitments’ [phal cher spyod pa’i dge bsnyen]. The yidam meditation deity represents the dharma. reading transmissions [lung]. In tantra practice it is essential to view one’s root guru as identical with the Buddha. 6) If a lay practitioner decides that the abandonment of killing. These four aspects of refuge become increasingly profound. One can distinguish six kinds of lay practitioners [dge bsnyen drug]: 1) A lay practitioner who decides that he exclusively commits to the three jewels as his refuge and embraces the refuge precepts obtains the status of an ‘upāsaka. of all sexual intercourse and of consuming intoxicants are the precepts he is able to maintain. by embracing this precept. The ḍākinī is a female . the root guru. In the sūtra tradition the refuge objects are Buddha. he obtains the status of an ‘upāsaka who holds one commitment’ [sna gcig spyod pa’i dge bsnyen]. beyond any doubt. he obtains the status of an ‘upāsaka who holds two commitments’ [sna ’ga’ spyod pa’i dge bsnyen]. 5) If a lay practitioner decides that the abandonment of killing. of speaking lies. by embracing these precepts. by embracing these precepts. secret and absolute aspects of the same refuge objects. by embracing these precepts. he obtains the status of an ‘upāsaka of pure conduct’ [tshangs spyod dge bsnyen]. and of consuming intoxicants are the precepts he is able to maintain. one’s buddha nature. 2) If a lay practitioner decides that the abandonment of killing is the only precept he is able to maintain. by embracing these precepts. From the persepctive of tantra these are called the ‘outer refuge’ [phyi’i skyabs ’gro]. then. The guru is one’s personal teacher from whom one has received empowerments [dbang]. of speaking lies. dharma and saṃgha. and of speaking lies are the only precepts he is able to maintain. is the master through whom one has recognized the essence of one’s mind [sems ngo]. he obtains the status of a ‘complete upāsaka’ [yongs rdzogs dge bsnyen]. yidam and ḍākinī.242 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Buddhist lay practitioners can take different kinds of precepts depending on their ability. tantra teaches the inner. one who takes the three jewels as his refuge’ [skyabs gsum ’dzin pa’i dge bsnyen]. The yidam is the meditation deity with whom one has connection from former lifetimes. and oral instructions [khrid]. In addition. of taking what has not been given. then. 3) If a lay practitioner decides that the abandonment of killing and of taking what has not been given are the only precepts he is able to maintain. 4) If a lay practitioner decides that the abandonment of killing. then. with the more profound aspect always incorporating the less profound. The ‘inner refuge’ [nang gi skyabs ’gro] in the tantra tradition is guru. The ultimate guru. of taking what has not been given.

Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 243 buddha and represents the saṃgha. “Nadi. the unity of the empty essence and the cognizant nature. both of which refer to the absolute refuge of the three kayas. nature and responsiveness [ngo bo rang bzhin thugs rje]. and practices relevant yogic techniques that will result in the three kayas. The ‘secret refuge’ [gsang ba’i skyabs ’gro] includes the nadis (channels). The guru is the root of blessing [byin rlabs kyi rtsa ba bla ma]. In their pure aspect they constitute the subtle body of the three kayas. the pranas are the saṃbhogakāya. they are temporarily obscured through ignorance and delusion. In their pure aspect the nadis are the nirmāṇakāya. saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya. the yogin purifies them of temporary obscurations [glo bur bral dag] and thus achieves the three kayas. pranas and bindus constitute the physical human body. The meditation experience of the cognizant nature is an experience of clarity [gsal ba’i nyams]. Intending to purify the nadis. and the bindus are the dharmakāya. All three—Buddha. the refuge objects may be nadi. taking refuge to nadi. the yidam is the root of accomplishments [dngos grub gyi rtsa ba yi dam]. Although nadis. In their impure aspect. Guru. one commits to the goal to achieve their pure aspect. It is pointless to put one’s hope in nadi. The unborn empty essence [ngo bo stong pa] of buddha nature is the dharmakāya. prana and bindu [rtsa rlung thig le]. dharma and saṃgha—are the objects of refuge.” But if one confuses refuge with a supplication and supplicates nadi. and the meditation experience of the responsiveness is an experience of bliss [bde ba’i nyams]. The absolute refuge [don dam pa’i skyabs ’gro] is the three kayas—dharmakāya. and the ḍākinī is the ‘root which dispels all obstacles’ [bar chad thams cad sel ba’i rtsa ba mkha’ ’gro]. “I commit to accomplish the pure aspect of the nadis. pranas and bindus of one’s body. prana and bindu has no meaning. and the unified responsiveness [thugs rje zung 'jug] of buddha nature. Thus. The refuge commitment to nadi. prana and bindu. These three kayas are viewed as three aspects of the buddha nature. prana and bindu. The refuge objects may also be bliss. yidam and ḍākinī are called the ‘three roots’ [rtsa ba gsum]. Through tantric practices.” then one has completely missed the point. pranas and bindus are in essence primordially pure [ngo bo ye dag]. clarity and non-thought [bde gsal mi rtog pa]. speech and mind. Refuge to the nadis means. which is the nirmāṇakāya. nadis. pranas (energies) and bindus (essences). The meditation experience of the empty essence is an experience of non-thought [mi rtog pa’i nyams]. referring to the secret refuge. please protect me. in the tradition of the Old School of Secret Mantra [gsang sngags rnying ma]. appearing to us as our impure body. Without knowing the difference between refuge and supplication. prana and bindu by saying. also refered to as the ‘root of activities’ [phrin las kyi rtsa ba]. prana and bindu is: “I will practice that which primordially has the nature of the three kayas exactly as it is” [ye nas sku gsum gyi rang bzhin yin pa la yin par gso gi yin]. the three kayas. Among them the dharma is the most important object of refuge for the beginner because it is the . is the nirmāṇakāya. or essence. since the ḍākinī supports the practitioner on the path to enlightenment. The cognizant nature [rang bzhin gsal ba] of buddha nature is the saṃbhogakāya.

Such practitioners are ignorant.” A story is told of a scholar called Akhu Dam Chö [a khu dam chos] who did not know the difference between refuge [skyabs ’gro] and supplication [gsol ’debs]. one is no longer a beginner. he stayed in retreat. He became an intellectual [rtog ge ba] and wrote a refutation129 of Mipham Rinpoche’s interpretation of the ninth chapter of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra and of Madhyamakālaṃkāra-kārikā. to reach enlightenment. Therefore. the Buddha is not the main refuge for a beginner. Neither the Buddha nor the saṃgha can make you enlightened. You can attain enlightenment only by following the dharma. One day. When one practices according to this commitment. prana and bindu means the commitment: “I commit to accomplish the pure aspects of nadi. clarity and non-thought grant you protection and refuge? What nonsense!” A practitioner of the Old School who cannot answer such criticism may become upset and start doubting his own practice. Taking refuge in the dharma really means making the commitment: “I not only intend to practice. the path taught by the Buddha. it must be practiced. Since it is only through the methods of the dharma that a beginner can reach enlightenment. He started out as a student of the Old School and then went to study for forty or fifty years with the Gelukpa School. A personal effort to practice the dharma is necessary. A practitioner of the Old School might be asked. Only the practice of dharma can change one’s mind. which are nirmāṇakāya. Only through the practice of the dharma can the beginner embark on the path to enlightenment. a beginner must apply the dharma to his own mind with the commitment to really practice and integrate the teachings. not knowing that refuge to nadi. “How can you go for refuge to nadi. Reaching the path of no-more-learning [mi slob pa’i lam]. neither moving his body nor eating any food. prana and bindu. I promise that I will practice the dharma”. and only the practice of the dharma leads to enlightenment.244 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations dharma that will change his mind. saṃbhogakāya and dharmakāya. For as long as one is still on the path of learning. one is called a beginner. but the ultimate refuge. the dharma cannot be supplicated. one’s dharma practice will be successful. Many people object to the secret refuge objects of the Old School because they do not know the difference between going for refuge and making a supplication.130 As an old man. The objective of a follower of Buddha is to reach enlightenment. 129 dam chos brgal lan 130 dbu ma rgyan . This is a very important point to understand. prana and bindu? That is absurd. Taking refuge in the dharma means commiting one’s mind to increase knowledge and compassion. While a beginner can both take refuge in and supplicate Buddha and saṃgha. He had practiced ‘peaceful abiding’ [zhi gnas] for a long time and would sometimes stay a few days withdrawn in absorption. But the final goal is to become the same as the Buddha. The Buddha cannot confer his realization to the beginner. How can bliss.

the saṃgha. Tertön Sogyal was very surprised to see this old and famous scholar and asked him. nature and capacity. When you practice that kind of refuge you make the commitment to accomplish the pure aspect of your nadis. We. pranas and bindus. which are the three kayas. “What brought you here?” Akhu Dam Chö said.” This story shows that sometimes even great scholars do not understand the meaning of refuge. prana and bindu be of any help to me? How can I take refuge in them?” He went to see Tertön Sogyal [gter ston bsod rgyal]. nirmāṇakāya. saṃbhogakāya and dharmakāya. we would still dwell in ignorance. Text section 193: Were someone to ask. Don’t confuse refuge with supplication [gsol ’debs]! Understand that the essence of refuge is acceptance [khas len]. and to the three roots. The saṃgha consists of the representatives [tshab] of the Buddha. then why are Buddha and saṃgha mentioned as refuge objects at all?” The answer to that question is that had the Buddha not appeared in this world.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 245 while he was reciting the refuge prayer from the Longchen Nyingthig. “If dharma is the main refuge. the Sugata. prana and bindu?” Tertön Sögyal answered. commitment and certainty in one’s mind regarding the Buddha do not by themselves lead to enlightenment. the Buddha. “I have an important question to ask. The point here is that acceptance. our companions along the path. To bodhicitta. the teacher of the path. And to the mandala of essence. dkon mchog gsum dngos bde gshegs rtsa ba gsum rtsa rlung thig le’i rang bzhin byang chub sems ngo bo rang bzhin thugs rje’i dkyil ’khor la byang chub snying po’i bar du skyabs su mchi He began to wonder. the beings of this degenerate age. I go for refuge until (I reach) the heart of enlightenment. not even knowing the word ‘dharma’. Therefore. commitment [dam bca’ ba] and resolve [thag chod pa]. is a refuge object. That is why the dharma is more important. “How can my own nadi. are also a refuge object. One needs to enter into the path of the dharma. The saṃgha of . pranas and bindus. not as the ‘causal refuge’ [rgyu skyabs]. he was startled by the lines of refuge which say: To the essence of the three jewels. “These lines of the refuge liturgy are classified as the ‘resultant refuge’ [’bras skyabs]. How can I go for refuge to my own nadi. lack the good fortune to have met the Buddha face to face but are instead guided on the genuine path to liberation by the saṃgha [dge ’dun]. But because Buddha did appear and perfectly taught to sentient beings the unfailing path [lam ma nor ba] that he himself had traversed. the nature of the nadis.

3) the extreme of both existence and non-existence [yod med gnyis ka’i mtha’]. relatives or friends. Once having committed oneself to the dharma. . Because the Buddha is free from all biased views. and do not follow their teachings. but tīrtika in fact refers to someone who is on a path other than the Buddhist one. One is committed to Buddha as the teacher. are upholding the view of nihilism. however. to the dharma as the path.131 on the genuine path to enlightenment. such as parents. Not listening to non-dharma means not following non-dharma. listen to and study all types of teachings from any spiritual path. Those who do not believe in karma. those who take one of the four extremes as their path [mu bzhi la lam stegs su bca’ ba]. the degeneration of lifespan [tshe’i snyigs ma]. sentient beings endowed with the five degenerations. he is the perfect teacher. Text section 194: The way of going for refuge to the three jewels is to go for refuge to the Buddha as the teacher. Tīrtikas [mu stegs pa]132 are those who uphold biased views [mtha’ brten gi lta ba stegs pa]. Do not accept teachers who teach biased or extreme views [mtha’ smra ba’i ston pa] as your personal teacher. Do not listen to non-dharma coming from those who uphold biased views. If a Buddhist practitioner well-versed in Buddhist philosophy and practice also engages in studies of the systems of the tīrtikas. who do not believe in previous or future lifetimes. Sometimes the ‘degeneration of views’ [lta ba’i snyigs ma] is listed in place of the ‘degeneration of actions’. one is committed to practice his teachings as he taught them. 132 The Sanskrit word tīrtika is often translated as ‘heretic’. his faith in Buddhism will become even firmer. and to the saṃgha as the companions [dkon mchog gsum la ston pa lam grogs kyi tshul du skyabs su ’gro dgos] along the path.246 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations teachers and spiritual friends guide us. Of course. and the degeneration of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i snyigs ma]. the law of cause and effect. The four extremes are: 1) the extreme of eternalism [rtag mtha’]. the Enlightened One. As it is said: 131 The five degenerations are: the degeneration of time [dus kyi snyigs]. Buddha is the one who has purified the two obscurations—the obscuration of afflictions and the obscuration of cognition—and has attained the realization of the twofold knowledge—the knowledge of the natural state and the knowledge of all there is to know. Those who believe in an eternal life after death are upholding the view of eternalism. and 4) the extreme of neither existence nor non-existence [yod med gnyis ka ma yin pa’i mtha’]. the degeneration of sentient beings [sems can gyi snyigs ma]. Our teacher is the perfect Buddha. 2) the extreme of nihilism [med mtha’]. Non-dharma [chos min] means statements that are not in accord with the natural state of things [dngos po gnas lugs dang mi mthun pa’i chos]. one should follow only the path taught by the Buddha. one can read. the degeneration of actions [las kyi snyigs ma].

an authentic practitioner must at least maintain the proper aspiration. family.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 247 The more I scrutinize The texts of tīrtikas. farming [so nams]. Without a doubt. he is in danger of becoming inflexible and hard in his mind. Recognizing the virtual impossibility of keeping dharma commitments one hundred percent. The masters advise: “Neither fight enemies nor maintain friends” [dgra ’dul gnyen skyong ma byed]. a practitioner must guard himself against the habitual patterns of his own mind. entertainment and so on will keep you away from genuine dharma practice. This statement is mainly meant for monks. All Buddhist lay practitioners who are still involved in worldly actitivies. and as soon as you are able. do not be shrewd in business [tshong mkhas po ma byed]. Lord Buddha. do not become overly involved with relatives and friends. At the same time. if a practitioner is too uptight about his commitments. A mind that lacks commitment easily becomes lost. Avoid getting caught up in hateful relationships. blown about like a piece of paper in the wind. friends. socializing. stop doing business. Internally. Maintain an approach that does not give people a reason to like you or dislike you intensely. The stronger becomes my faith In you. enemies and business dealings distract practitioners the most. Furthermore. If you lack the firm commitment to avoid worldly activities. non-dharmic influences. the goal being to ultimately separate himself completely from all worldly activities. However. the infectious influence of work. fighting enemies [dgra 'dul]. Relatives. the basic commitment not to engage in worldly activities gives him direction. Only through strong commitment and resolve to practice the dharma can a practitioner guard himself against this influence. relatives. On the other hand. should at least maintain this as an aspiration. yogins and yoginis. The golden rule is to be neither too friendly nor too unfriendly [ha cang mi mdza’ mi mthun gnyis ka ma byed]. nuns. Externally. maintaining family [gnyen skyongs] and so forth. A beginning practitioner who attempts to commit to completely disengage from worldly activities will engage in them to a certain extent anyway because of the force of his habitual patterns. . mu stegs can gyi gzhung lugs la ji lta ji ltar rnam bsams pa de lta de ltar mgon khyod la bdag gi sems ni dad par gyur A dharma practitioner who has committed to practice the sublime dharma according to the instructions of the Buddha should abstain from negative worldly activities such as business [tshong]. friends and acquaintances have a strong impact on one’s mind. he needs to guard himself from negative.

and a son like Rāhula [sgra gcan ’dzin]. who is endowed with magical powers. May I have students like the supreme Śāriputra [sha ri’i bu]. but still failed. “I will liberate all sentient beings from the suffering of saṃsāra. Having created that thought with true commitment and resolve. and like the supreme Maudgalyāyana [maudgal gyi bu]. May I have an attendent like Ānanda [kun dga’ bo]. recognizing that your own habitual patterns will slow you down anyway.248 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Lay practitioners who are householders need a particularly strong commitment to dharma practice in order to eventually disentangle themselves from worldly activities. He told the Buddha what happened and asked for an explanation. At the time when King Prasenajid [gsal rgyal]. The Buddha replied. Take the best practitioners as your example. Buddha’s attendent Ānanda came to extinguish the lamps. has no benefit. Reciting the lines of bodhicitta aspiration just as mere lip-service to the tradition. and in daily life do the best you can. But when he came to the lamp of the beggar girl he could not put the flame out. to become . Then he tried to blow the flame out with his fan [rlung yab].” Although you recognize your lack of capacity—in the face of the enormity of the task—to free all sentient beings. a young beggar girl [bu mo dbul mo] who lived on alms offered a little bit of corn oil [’bru mar] in a potsherd [gyo dum] in which she had placed a wick. the sincere bodhisattva attitude. and make daily aspirations to become like them. the king of Kosala. Strive for the best. you must still adhere to that commitment and resolve.” he thought. A practitioner needs to think. who is endowed with wisdom. Simply having that noble thought. but that also did not work. Always keep the thought that you will attain complete enlightenment. With utmost faith [dad pa bla na med pa] she offered prostrations to the Buddha and made following aspiration [smon lam]: “Through this root of virtue may I become exactly like our teacher. for complete enlightenment. and that you will establish them on the level of supreme buddhahood. a mother like Māyādevī [sgyu ’phrul lha mo]. Set your mind on practice in solitude like Milarepa. had invited the Buddha and was preparing great offerings. These thoughts have tremendous power and merit. that you actually will liberate all beings from their suffering. He gathered all his breath to blow it out. “Even a storm could not extinguish this lamp because this beggar girl made an aspiration to reach enlightenment. “This is strange. already accumulates the same merit as actually accomplishing it. not really thinking it is possible. With a flick of his hand he extinguished them one by one.” In the evening. the Buddha. Maintain a strong commitment and resolve in your mind. you gain the same merit as if you had actually completed this great task. Heartfelt commitment and resolve are required. Resolve in your mind to practice like the Buddha and to become exactly like him. and become enlightened at a time when sentient beings only live up to a hundred years and may I be known as Śākyamuni. That is why one should take these great and noble thoughts and motivations very seriously.

powerful and intelligent because one enjoys being praised. a beginning practitioner without 133 See dad pa’i nyin byed. regardless of his appearance. Pursuing these self-centered goals in action and thought. Being motivated by the eight worldly concerns.133 Text section 195: One goes for refuge to the noble saṃgha as companions. friends or guides along the path. While an individual with positive qualities may have a slight beneficial influence on someone negative-minded. leading him all the way to the destination.” It was reported that the beggar girl’s lamp burned for seven days. one is a totally worldly person and is leading an ultimately meaningless and pointless life. The good qualities of a person who falls under the influence of someone negative are liable to diminish.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 249 exactly like me. Do not imitate [gcig tu mi byed] any person involved in the eight worldly concerns in conversation. 5) praise [bstod pa] and 6) blame [smad pa]. 3) fame [snyan] and 4) disrepute [mi snyan]. when to eat and so forth. Only if one’s aspiration for wealth is motivated by the desire to help others does one qualify as a lay follower or bodhisattva of the Buddha’s teachings. When traveling through Tibet with a tour leader [sgar dpon]. A person who is motivated by personal gain. Do not maintain close friendships with people who lead you into the eight worldly concerns. In the same way a practitioner should not fall under the influence of anyone. be it a spiritual or worldly person who causes him to be distracted by the eight worldly concerns [’jig rten chos brgyad]. and 7) pleasure [bde ba] and 8) pain [mi bde ba]. The wealth he accumulates makes him happy. Do not have intimate conversations [kha]. rich. A worldly person enjoys gaining wealth and is depressed by loss. one follows his advice about where to camp. fame and so on is a worldly person. If a bodhisattva desires to reach a certain level of fame in order to help beings and disseminate the teachings of the Buddha on a broader scale. one can never truly practice the Mahāyāna path. neither can those who are traveling only part of the way. Buddha Śākyamuni. He is the traveler’s companion and friend. If one aspires to be beautiful. thinking or behavior [kha blo spyod gsum]. his major goal in life being riches and comfort. . They cannot serve as ultimate guides. he still qualifies as a follower of the Buddha’s teachings. People and guides who are traveling to different destinations cannot be your companions. exchanging personal ideas [blo] with them. A worldly person desires fame and honor but is averse to disrepute. one is not following the teachings of the Buddha in a genuine way. pages 490-494. A worldly person likes to be praised and hates to be blamed or criticized. which are: 1) gain [rnyed pa] and 2) loss [ma rnyed pa]. outshining all the other offerings. These eight points describe the egocentric goals and fears of worldly people.

The three sets of general precepts are: the three precepts concerning prohibitions [dgag pa’i bslab bya gsum]. In particular. An evil friend is not someone with horns on his head but someone who causes obstacles to your dharma practice. speech and mind.250 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations sufficent stability is more likely to succumb to negative influences. . Follow the example and the life stories of the Buddha and great bodhisattvas and take them as your ultimate friends along the path to enlightenment. I will endeavor to keep it. Even when my life is at stake. In the same manner. When dealing with negative-minded people you must really watch your behavior. Text section 197: Merely knowing about going for refuge is not enough. take care not to associate yourself closely with anyone who tries to turn you away from the dharma. As Gedün Chöphel once said: Fools do not follow me And I do not follow fools. They are friends along the path but not ultimate friends like the bodhisattvas. Always try to respect other people’s practice time and space. You should strongly resolve to avoid such persons. the three precepts concerning obligations [bsgrub pa’i bslab bya gsum]. Any associate. They are satisfied with the level of an arhat. A practitioner should always keep these precepts in his heart. and the three supplementary precepts [cha mthun gyi bslab bya gsum]. The refuge precepts are maintained by observing the three sets of general precepts and the five special precepts. never interrupt another person’s dharma practice and do not dissuade others from practicing the dharma. A practitioner must receive the refuge precepts in the proper fashion from a qualified teacher. You need to have the firm resolve not to fall into negative habits due to the infectious influence of negative persons. blun pos rang gi rjes su mi ’gro yang rang nyid sgug pa’i rjes su mi ’gro ba ’di na mkhas pa’i dam tshig dang po red srog la babs kyang ’bad pas bzung Text section 196: Furthermore. After receiving the precepts [sdom pa] he needs to maintain them through the trainings [bslab bya]. acquaintance or friend who distracts you from learning and practicing the Buddha’s teachings is an ‘evil friend’ [bdud gyi grogs po]. not even the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas qualify as ultimate companions [mthar phyin pa’i grogs po] on the path because they do not aspire to complete enlightenment. That is the foremost vow of the wise.

one should never harm any sentient being. (3) Having gone for refuge to the saṃgha. Furthermore. do not associate with those who hold extreme or biased views [mtha’ ’dzin gyi lta ba yod mkhan]. One with knowledge and compassion will never harm other beings. the ultimate wisdom attainable. speech and mind is not a personality cult. the three precepts concerning prohibitions are: (1) Having gone for refuge to the Buddha. Do not accept any of them as an ultimate or permanent refuge. Some worldly gods are nevertheless regarded as members of the Buddhist saṃgha and are. They benefit beings by inspiring them to virtue. . You cannot take refuge to worldly gods thinking that they can grant liberation from the suffering of saṃsāra because they themselves are still dwelling in saṃsāra. This is because the essence of the dharma is knowledge and compassion. speech and mind: Emanating a multitude of various forms. Buddha is the fruition of the path [lam gyi ’bras bu]. In this context one must understand that Buddha is wisdom and not a person. This is not a prohibition against having friendly relations with followers of other systems. Permanent refuge [gtan gyi skyabs] means until the attainment of enlightenment. (2) Having gone for refuge to the dhamra. do not take saṃsāric gods as a permanent refuge and do not pay homage or present offerings to them. worthy of offerings. Text section 199: A quote from the Puṇḍarīka-sūtra shows the purpose of paying respect to any representation of Buddha’s body. If you have a violent dream of harming or killing others. Do not accept teachers or systems which teach egoclinging or any extremist view of eternalism or nihilism since they are propagating a wrong path. In order to protect a beginner’s understanding of Buddhism from wrong ideas this refuge precept advises him not to associate with real tīrtikas. Not associate [mi ’grogs] means keeping a distance [mtha’ ring bso dgos] from such people.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 251 Text section 198: In detail. as well as peace and happiness [zhi bde]. Paying respect to the representations of Buddha’s body. do not mingle with those who slander your personal teacher or the dharma. The saṃgha are those who further and enhance one’s qualities and practice on the genuine path to enlightenment. regret and amend that negativity immediately upon waking by offering confession. Gods who dwell within saṃsāra are not free from egoclinging [bdag ’dzin]. not even in dreams. but it does not mean completely rejecting them. They can grant temporary refuge and help. therefore.

Recognizing the statue as a representation of the Buddha carries the blessing. food. Not even great bodhisattvas on the tenth level have the limitless wisdom. In reality only a perfectly enligthened Buddha can truly help all sentient beings. where countless beings are becoming bodhisattvas. practitioners can gather inconceivable merit. a god [lha chen]. hear. and all wisdom qualities ’unfolded’ [rgyas]. made countless aspirations that he might benefit all beings who see. the absence of all that must be overcome. the aim we wish to achieve. Never think that the Buddha is a person [gang zag]. the state of a completely enlightened buddha. vehicles. a cosmic soul. representations [tshab / rten] of the Buddha.252 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations His nirmāṇakāya or emanations bestow great benefit on beings. and so forth. speech and mind with respect. All representations of the Buddha’s body. This term also includes relics of the Buddha as well as anything which can benefit sentient beings. jewels. the ’created nirmāṇakāya’ [bso ba sprul sku]. the ultimate fruition. ’Bodhi’ and ’buddha’ are both names for the final goal. Buddha is the condition of happiness [bde ba’i rkyen]. According to Mipham Rinpoche. Based on statues. there are countless world systems. Some people hold the strange view that only the bodhisattvas are able to help sentient beings while the Buddha is too far removed from beings to help them. limitless compassion and limitless activity of a buddha. As the result of his aspirations we are able to meet Buddha’s body. speech and mind [sku gsung thugs rten] are considered to be ‘manifold nirmāṇakāya’. while the dharma is the cause of happiness [bde ba’i rgyu]. or atma [bdag]. Buddha is immeasurable wisdom [tshad med pa’i ye shes]. and the ’manifold nirmāṇakāya’ [sna tshogs sprul sku]. speech and mind through his three representations. . the ’rebirth nirmāṇakāya’ [skye ba sprul sku]. Buddha Śākyamuni. For more details see chapter one. a creator [byed pa po]. At this very instant. such as lotus flowers. the presence of all that should be achieved and realized. bridges. and countless bodhisattvas are reaching complete and perfect 134 mkhas 'jug page 334 and 335. Khenpo Chöga’s commentary to text section 165-166. as a bodhisattva. Having taken refuge. treat all representations of Buddha’s body. clothing. touch or think of him. ’Buddha’ [sangs rgyas] means that the obscuration of afflictions and the obscuration of cognition have both been completely ’purified’ or ’removed’ [sangs].134 one can distinguish different nirmāṇakāyas of the Buddha: the ’supreme nirmāṇakāya’ [mchog gi sprul sku]. Another aspect of the term ‘bodhi’ denotes presence [yod pa]. The capacity of even a highly realized bodhisattva to reach all sentient beings is limited. One aspect of the term ‘bodhi’ denotes absence [med pa]. medicine. Buddha is not ‘a creator’ [byed pa po]. The statues themselves contain no blessing. Not a single sentient being is excluded from the wisdom and compassion of a buddha. Based on this wrong idea these people vow to remain as bodhisattvas in saṃsāra and do not aspire to reach complete enlighenment in order to help sentient beings. within limitless space.

the area received the name Uḍḍiyāna which means ‘area of those who fly’ [‘phur ’gro’i gnas]. Buddha’s dharmakāya is limitless wisdom. Buddha’s two form bodies appear to beings of different degrees of merit and pure perception. his nirmāṇakāya manifestation appeared to the śrāvaka arhats [nyan thos dgra bcom pa] and pratyekabuddhas [rang sangs rgyas] who were present. that is. The saṃbhogakāya manifestations are perceived by the bodhisattvas who dwell on any of the ten bodhisattva levels. appear only to the beings in a limited number of world systems.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 253 enlightenment. Swift enlightenment in Vajrayāna is possible if a student has the pure perception to see his root guru as the dharmakāya of the Buddha. Each bodhisattva level perceives Buddha’s saṃbhogakāya manifestations differently. A student of lesser merit might perceive the same root guru as a great master or scholar. only in one billion world systems. as a phenomenal perception [snang ba]. vastness [rgyas pa]. The perception of the various bodhisattva levels differs in clarity [gsal po]. The saṃbhogakāya [longs sku] and the nirmāṇakāya [sprul sku] only appear in the perception of others [gzhan snang] and are not the actual Buddha. On the relative level. In the same way. ornamented with the full saṃbhogakāya attire. the entire city flew up into the sky. in the perception of sentient beings. Therefore. and purity [dag pa]. the nirmāṇakāya manifestations of the Buddha are perceived differently by a pratyekabuddha. Finally. But his two form bodies [gzugs sku]. in the same way that one sky can be reflected individually in countless water bowls. Each citizen had a certain position in the maṇḍala [dkyil ’khor]. they appear individually distinct. The actual Buddha is the dharmakāya. At the same time he was giving Hīnayāna teachings to the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. One Buddha has the activity field of one billion world systems [’jig rten bye ba phrag brgya] because the beings in all these systems have accumulated a similar common karma [thun mong gi las] and therefore share similar perceptions. But the basis of that perception [snang gzhi] is the dharmakāya [chos sku]. he was also imparting Vajrayāna teachings and empowerments to the king and his entourage. The terms ‘pure’ and ‘impure’ apply not to the Buddha himself but to the different perceptions of his manifestations by sentient beings. All citizens of King Indrabhuti’s capital practiced Vajrayāna. an arhat or an ordinary being. Text sections 200-203 . A negative-minded person might perceive the same root guru as his enemy. from the first to the tenth. On the absolute level [don dam] all buddhas are one in essence. When Buddha was teaching at King Indrabhuti’s palace in Uddiyana. An ordinary being might perceive the very same root guru merely as a nice old man. the saṃbhogakāya [longs sku] and the nirmāṇakāya [sprul sku]. after eight years of practice. limitless compassion and limitless activity. A buddha appears in a pure or impure aspect due to the pure or impure perception of sentient beings. The Buddha appears to us as Buddha Śākyamuni. Simultaneously he appeared to the bodhisattvas and great yogins in his saṃbhogakāya form.

Consider them as identical to me. have faith and perceive it with pure vision. The scriptures are no different from the Buddha himself and are particularly sacred because they teach us the entire dharma. And show them due respect. considering it to be the true jewel of the Buddha. teaching us what to do and what to avoid. never put dirty objects on top of them or even pass dirty things over them. Even impure beings who just wear monks robes must be treated with respect. I will be present in the form of scriptures. to wet your fingers with saliva to turn the pages and similar disrespectful behavior are all serious mistakes. do not put images on top of scriptures. Never stain them. treat with respect every dharma book written in any language. Treat all those who are pure monks. and consider it to be the true jewel of the dharma. whether or not it is artistically appealing. the Great Mother Prajñāpāramitā [yum chen mo shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa] is said to be present in the form of the gaṇdhi.254 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Second. put it somewhere clean. Never put Buddhist scriptures or texts on the ground. honor and respect any representation of the Buddha’s body and mind. who endeavor in the precepts and uphold the sūtra-pitaka. but instead burn them. put it somewhere clean. (3) Having taken refuge in the saṃgha. The scriptures represent the Buddha’s speech. respect any representation of Buddha’s speech. Treat every statue of the Buddha. This is very important to observe. In the same way as the Buddha manifests in the form of scriptures. As it is said: In the future. be it the yellow belt of a fully ordained monk or a mere patch of red or yellow cloth. and ensuring the continuity of his teachings. with respect. even if it is just a fragment of paper bearing a single syllable of the scriptures. Honor and respect it. raise it above your head. To place books containing the scriptures directly on the floor or on a chair. Place it above your head. a wooden gong used to summon monks. consider anything that symbolizes it. with respect. Do not throw old dharma books or translations into the garbage. Furthermore. the three precepts concerning obligations are: (1) Having taken refuge in the Buddha. and do not criticize them. Raise it above your head. even if it is only a tiny piece of a broken terracotta image. Therefore. Since the Buddha appears in the form of scripture one should show the same respect to the Buddhist scriptures as one would to the Buddha in person. as the true jewel of the saṃgha. when the teaching of the Buddha will decline. to step over them. The gaṇdhi symbolizes [mtshon byed] Prajñāpāramitā and the vinaya describes in great detail the shape and use of the gaṇdhi. and regard it with pure vision. (2) Having taken refuge in the dharma. Treat all dharma books with respect. The Buddha himself said: In the last five-hundred-year cycle. vinaya-pitaka and abhidharmapitaka. never step over them. All little pieces of red or yellow cloth .

Respect them with your body. Particularly in the Secret Mantra Vehicle. his speech the dharma. and last. and see all his actions as perfect. as the quintessential union of the three jewels. the three supplementary precepts are: (1) Look upon your teacher. Ānanda. speech and mind. Follow him with absolute trust. say or think is to renounce the entire refuge. and try to pray to him all the time. (2) Consider every word of your sublime teacher as the jewel of the dharma. the spiritual friend who teaches you here and now what to do and what not to do. Do not lament.136 Just before passing away. his disciples and your spiritual companions who have pure conduct as the jewel of the saṃgha. Recognize him. and his mind the Buddha. These abovementioned precepts come into play only after a student has firmly committed himself and been accepted by a Buddhist teacher. Remember that to displease him with anything you do. so make every effort to please him all the time. Before committing yourself to a teacher-student relationship. The second best way to delight your master is by serving him with body and speech [lus ngag gis zhabs tog]. Endeavor to serve and honor him and do not even so much as walk on his shadow. as the true jewel of the Buddha. even for an instant. your root guru is the main refuge—his body is the saṃgha.135 You should check whether your prospective teacher embodies these qualities. Ānanda. . Text sections 204-205: Third. Text section 206: 135 See chapter one. (3) Consider the entourage of your sublime teacher. The supreme way to delight your master is through practicing meditation [sgrub pas mnyes par byed pa].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 255 Will be collected by the gods and taken away as objects of faith And will be placed in a stūpa on the peak of Mount Sumeru. and never upset them. In future times I will Incarnate as spiritual guides To help you and others. you must study about the qualities of an authentic Buddhist teacher. 136 The scriptures say that one should offer the three delights [mnyes pa gsum] to one’s Vajrayāna master. the Buddha told Ānanda: Do not feel sad. Accept everything he says without disobeying a single point. to delight him through material offerings [zang zing gi mchod pa]. therefore. text section 106.

and his reply was always “No”. The tenth and the twenty-fifth day of the lunar month are special tantra days. In short. Recognize all well-being as springing from the compassion of the three jewels. it is important to practice and make offerings on these days. and offer as much as you can. not for gifts and not at the cost of your life [srog dang bya dkar dkon mchog gsum mi spong]: Whatever happens. or whatever else may befall you. sickness or suffering. be it pleasant or unpleasant. never forget to take refuge in the three jewels. In the same way. they killed him. practice the taking of refuge along with its precepts. Finally. Train yourself until you reach the point that even while feeling afraid in a nightmare you remember to take refuge. who told him. a Buddhist lay practitioner was taken prisoner by some tīrtikas. Recognize Buddha’s compassion in everything that helps you and makes you happy. and never give up the refuge even at the cost of your life. and summer and winter solstices. we won’t kill you. good or bad. “Do you renounce?”. 3. we’ll put you to death. from the moment you enter the path of liberation and become a Buddhist. While peeling off each slice they asked him. 2. This is especially important on certain days: the eighth day of every lunar month. every morning and evening. good or bad. Otherwise. just pray to the three jewels. So. However pressing the need. If you have to undergo medical treatment or make use of a healing ritual. Whenever you encounter sickness or suffering. Observe the special times dedicated to the three jewels and to the life of the Buddha such as the four great festival days [dus chen] according to the Tibetan calendar. I will not seek any other means (than the three jewels) [dgos gal che yang thabs gzhan mi 'tshol]: No matter what happens to you. On these days afflictions as well as positive energy are naturally enhanced. Once. the smallest positive thought arising in your mind results from the inconceivable power of his blessings. “I can only renounce taking refuge with my mouth. place your entire trust in the three jewels. These are the following: .256 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The five common trainings [thun mong gi bslab bya lnga] as taught by Lord Atiśa and put into poetry by Ngari Panchen are: 1. do so in the recognition that those very things are the activity of the three jewels. Do not fail to make offerings at the correct times [dus mchod mi bcag]: Make offerings to the three jewels as often as you can. the days of the full moon and new moon. which are all days that naturally have great energy [nus pa chen po’i dus].” The heretics sliced the skin on his head with a knife in several portions. and never give them up even if your life is at stake. This will enable you to do so later in the intermediate state (Bardo). Never forsake the three jewels. I could never do so with my heart. Therefore. “If you renounce taking refuge in the three jewels. entrust yourself entirely to the three jewels. We should really be like this layman. and do not rely on any other methods of dealing with such problems.” He replied. in India. when demons and enemies create obstacles. It is said that everything pleasant and good in this world—even the slightest breeze on a hot day—comes from the compassion and blessings of the Buddha.

4. page 478. . “I offer all this to them. the month in which the results of all virtuous and non-virtuous activities are multiplied by a hundred thousand. When asked. his enlightenment at age 35 at Bodhgayā. profit or whatever—spring from the compassion of the three jewels. All good and desirable circumstances in this life—comfort. recitation of mantra and so on—and dedicate that merit to the benefit of all beings. offerings.137 3) ‘The Festival of the First Turning’ [chos ’khor dus chen]: The fourth day of the sixth Tibetan month commemorates the first turning of the wheel of dharma. Establish yourself and others in refuge [rang gzhan skyabs ’gror ’god]: Once you have understood the benefits and blessings of taking refuge. and his passing into parinirvāṇa at Kuśinagara at the age of 80. popularity. happiness. he turned the wheel of dharma for the first time at Sarnath by teaching the four noble truths. History of Buddhism. The fifteenth day is considered the actual festival day. Buddha did not teach. 2) ‘Saga Dawa Düchen’ [sa ga zla ba dus chen]: The fifteenth day of the fourth Tibetan month commemorates Buddha’s birth in Lumbini. happiness. The whole month is called ‘Bumgyur Dawa’ [’bum ’gyur zla ba]. explain to others the qualities of the three jewels and thus encourage them to take refuge. Do not seek to create situations in order to proselytize. In order to increase the merit and to enhance the devotion of future disciples. Entrust yourself and others to the three jewels both for this life and for lives to come. He repaid her kindness by leading her to liberation. meditation on the Buddha. page 65-66. it is crucial to talk about the dharma and about going for refuge only when an auspicious connection [rten ’brel] to discuss the dharma has naturally arisen. Your inspiration can inspire others. Even if you give advice and offer help. always let people decide for themselves whether or not they want to go for refuge or not. For seven weeks following his enlightenment. You may relate to those who are close to you the feelings of devotion. With such devotion and pure perception think. Buddha’s mother had been reborn in Indra’s heaven. to benefit the other gods Buddha spent three months teaching in the realm of the gods before descending once more to earth. At the same time. you will become an example for others. encouraged by Indra and Brahma.” Offer the three jewels whatever sources of merit you create—prostrations. certainty and so forth that the three jewels inspire in your mind. Buddha displayed a different miracle each day for fifteen days. 137 See sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 257 1) ‘The Festival of the Miracles’ [cho ’phrul dus chen]: The first to the fifteenth day of the first Tibetan month commemorates the time when Buddha performed miracles. 4) ‘The Festival of his Descent from Heaven’ [lha babs dus chen]: The twenty-second day of the ninth Tibetan month commemorates Buddha’s descent from the heaven of the thirty-three [skr. However. trayastriṃśa]. Finally. and practice refuge diligently.

” 138 See appendix for English translation of The Liturgy of Śākyamuni—A Treasury of Blessings [thub chog byin rlabs gter mdzod]. You may follow the visualization taught in Mipham Rinpoche’s138 text “The Liturgy of Śākyamuni—A Treasury of Blessings. Homage to the saṃgha. ma bcos pa ni rang bzhin red. without losing the thought of the three jewels. If you cannot do that. But never talk about the dharma to people who have a negative attitude toward it. When eating or drinking. on the way pay homage to the Buddha of that direction. .258 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations You may talk to people who are interested and those who are neutral to the dharma.” When you go to sleep. visualize the Buddha in your heart. think of your teacher and the three jewels as being really present by your pillow. Or you may recite the four-fold refuge in Sanskrit: Namo guru bhya Namo buddhaya Namo dharmaya Namo saṃghaya While reciting these lines of refuge. visualize Buddha Śākyamuni in the sky in front of you. Whenever you go somewhere. What is natural is endowed with the spontaneous and inconceivable power of the natural state [rten ’brel zhes pa ni ma bcos pa red. which is common to all vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism: Homage to the teacher. Wherever I go. rang bzhin la chos nyid gyi nus pa bsam gyis mi khyab pa lhun gyis grub pa yod do]. Make the refuge prayer your constant daily practice. If you give them an opportunity to slander the three jewels. and fall asleep with your mind concentrated on him. If you do not know any in particular recite the four-fold refuge prayer. Then fall asleep with faith and pure perception. If you cannot do that. visualize the three jewels in your throat. thinking. Homage to the Buddha. 5. full of love and compassion for you. and offer them the first taste of everything you consume. What is uncontrived is natural. their negative attitude will cause them endless suffering in the lower realms of saṃsāra. An auspicious connection is uncontrived. offer them the first mouthful or sip. “I offer this to the three jewels. I will prostrate to the Buddha of that direction [gar ’gro’i phyogs kyi sangs rgyas la phyag ’tshal]: Learn to have faith and pure perception by recognizing everything that appears as being manifested by the three jewels. Homage to the dharma. An auspicious connection is a circumstance that is not manipulated but that occurs naturally.

offer it mentally to the precious three jewels: lovely gardens full of flowers. pleasant groves. make an offering to the three jewels by flicking a few drops into the air with your fingers before pouring it into your container.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 259 When you have new clothes to wear. vast wealth and possessions. Then put them on with the thought that the three jewels have given them to you. tenuous as it may be. streams of clear water. and you will find happiness and well-being both in this . The whole of space Would not be large enough to contain it. Khenpo Kunpal has already mentioned several qualities and benefits of going for refuge in text sections 141 through 148. When drawing water. The Vimaladatta-paripṛcchāsūtra says: If all the merit of taking refuge Had a physical form. From the moment of going for refuge onward. and your merit will grow unceasingly. demons and spirits cannot affect you. Practitioners who meditate on the profound meaning of the dharma can encounter many obstacles to their practice. before putting them on for the first time. beautiful houses. Further benefits can also be elaborated upon. with any representation of the Buddha’s body. To take refuge with a faith fully cognizant of the qualities of the three jewels unquestionably brings benefit. But even simply hearing the word “Buddha” or creating any link. which ultimately will lead to the state beyond suffering. the compassionate blessings of the three jewels will render all your thoughts positive until you naturally avoid all negativity. Text sections 207-209: Taking refuge has innumerable and inconceivable benefits. obstacles caused by humans. Moreover. Taking refuge also distances one from masses of negativity and increases virtue. But making a real effort to sincerely take refuge will transform all obstacles into favorable circumstances. Even the most negative actions accumulated in the past are reduced and exhausted by going for refuge with sincere and intense faith. beautiful men and women in fine clothes—anything. lift them up and offer them mentally to the three jewels. speech or mind can plant the seed of liberation. The permanent benefit of going for refuge is that you will never part company from the thought of the three jewels. Whenever you see anything that gives you joy or that you find desirable. One benefit of going for refuge is that you will not take rebirth in any of the three lower realms. By taking refuge you distance yourself from all negative actions and purify your fomerly accumulated karmic obscurations. Going for refuge temporarily secures the protection of beneficent deities and the realization of all one’s wishes.

Ultimately. To confess [bshags pa] means ‘to cut off’ [mar gtub / mar gcad] or ‘to throw away’ [phar yug].260 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations present life and in lives to come. You make the further resolve not to repeat the same mistakes in the future and not to stain your mind again. being mistaken. You next try to remember all the misdeeds you have committed in this life. to purify your misdeeds you visualize light radiating from the buddhas and bodhisattvas. shame. you will obtain the state of buddhahood. In the tantra tradition. Now. You need to learn what constitutes virtuous and non-virtuous conduct. You can cut off or throw away all your misdeeds. in confession. you must be able to identify a mistake or misdeed. offer all the positive things you hold in your mind. With such a personal history you can deduce that you have committed all possible negative deeds and still carry these karmic seeds in your mind. Although you cannot recollect your past lives. lay open all the negative things that you have been holding in your mind. Text section 210: When you present offerings. Develop a feeling of deep regret and shame for what you have done. you visualize nectar dripping down from Vajrasattva. You need to learn that when you live your life according to the ten virtuous actions [dge ba bcu]. Acknowledge all negative deeds you can remember as well as those you cannot. acknowledging all possible misdeeds done in this and previous lifetimes is crucial. In the sūtra tradition. At the outset. Confession should be understood like this: “I truly acknowledge that. All the ingredients of acknowledgement. It is said that there is not even a single square inch of ground in all higher and lower realms that you have not stepped on in former lifetimes. regret and fear of karmic consequences are indispensible for a fully effective confession. You acknowledge and regret all your misdeeds. trust in the teachings of the Buddha who said that we have all taken rebirth in countless previous lifetimes in all possible states of existence. Therefore. It also connotes ‘to lay open’.” Confess with a mindset of regret or repentance [‘gyod pa / sun ’byin pa] about what you have done wrong coupled with the resolve to purify your former misdeeds. deciding to purify them. but confess it. Now I will rectify my mistakes. I will purify myself and remove what is hidden inside. the phrase ‘to confess openly’ [mthol lo bshags] means ‘to lay open’ [mthol ba] and ‘to lay aside’ [bshags pa]. you will create good karma. ‘to lay bare’ or ‘to open up’ [kha phye ba]. Never offer your negativity to the buddhas. Such shame and regret along with the fear of the dire consequences of your misdeeds will lead to a firm resolve never to repeat these misdeeds in the future. and you need to learn that committing the ten non-virtuous actions will lead to terrible results in this and future lifetimes for yourself and others. swiftly perfecting the two accumulations you will attain enlightenment. . We all have a tremendous amount of not yet ripened previous karma lying dormant in our mind-streams. Feel so ashamed that you really want to rid yourself of the disgraceful deeds you committed in the past. I did something wrong. Therefore.

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Many people do not know the difference between right and wrong. In east Tibet, for example, where long-standing family feuds are frequent, it is common to think: “I’ve done quite well in killing that enemy of mine. I’ve done the right thing.” Here, people who have taken the life of another human being think they have accomplished something wonderful. They actually feel happy and satisfied about their misdeeds. Such killing coupled with rejoicing in it is an enormously negative act, a grave negativity [sdig pa chen po]. Wrongdoing means harming others due to one’s own ignorance, aggression, desire, jealousy and miserliness. In fact, every time you harm someone else, you harm yourself. In order to prevent the consequences of your deeds from coming back to you, you must confess the harm that you have inflicted on others. Do not, however, let confession develop into worrying [sems brel]. Practice confession as a ’cutting off’ [mar bshags]. In one moment cut off all your negative patterns of the past and firmly resolve not to repeat them again. Do not hold on to regret continuously. Face the problem of your previous negativity, and apply the solution, the firm resolve not to repeat these actions in the future. Text section 211 / stanza 27: Stanza 27 describes the visualization of the objects for confession [bshags yul mngon du bya ba]. To make confession requires an object before which to confess. In the sūtra tradition, these objects are the buddhas and bodhisattvas dwelling in countless buddha fields throughout the ten directions, who are all endowed with great compassion and wish to liberate all sentient beings from suffering and its causes. In the tantra tradition, the object is your own root guru in the form of Vajrasattva. Involve your body, speech and mind in the practice of confession. With your mind generate faith [dad pa] and devotion [mos gus] toward the objects of confession [bshags yul]. Imagine that they are truly present in the sky in front of you. Develop heartfelt regret for all of your previously committed misdeeds and negative actions. With your body assume the posture of devotion by joining your palms together in the anjali mudra. With your voice recite the words of your confession practice in a pleasant and melodious way. Text sections 212: An effective confession requires four powers [stobs bzhi]: 1) The power of remorse [sun ’byin pa’i stobs], also called the power of regret [’gyod pa’i stobs]; 2) the power of the support [rten gyi stobs]; 3) the power of the applied antidote [gnyen po kun tu spyod pa’i stobs]; and 4) the power of resolve [sor chud pa’i stobs],139 also called the power of commitment [sdom pa’i stobs] or the power of turning away from mistakes [nyes pa las ldog pa’i stobs].

139 This term may also be translated as ‘the power of restoration’ or ‘the power of repair’.

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The power of remorse is heartfelt regret about the non-virtuous deeds one has previously committed. Regret requires the knowledge [shes rab] of how to identify what virtue and non-virtue actually are. It further requires faith in karma, the law of cause and effect, and the wish to get rid of one’s misdeeds because one does not want to suffer their horrible consequences. Stanzas 28 through 46 cover the power of remorse. The power of support means going for refuge to the three jewels, the buddhas, the dharma and the saṃgha, as the object for purification [dag rten du byed pa]. Knowing that only the three jewels can grant protection from the fears of the three lower realms, you go for refuge. Stanzas 47 through 53 cover the power of support. The power of the applied antidote means that from now on you endeavor constantly in virtuous activities [dge ba’i las la shin tu brtson pa]. Stanzas 54 through 65 (first half) cover the power of the applied antidote. The power of resolve is the commitment [dam bca’ ba] to abstain from this moment onward from all misdeeds, even at the cost of your life. Stanza 65 (second half) covers the power of resolve. The practice of confession is only effective if all four powers are complete. Text section 213 / stanza 28: In stanza 28 the practitioner develps remorse about the negative deeds he has committed over a very long timespan. The timespan includes the entire time one has been circling in saṃsāra. Since saṃsāra is beginningless, having no starting point, the timespan here is throughout beginningless saṃsāra [thog ma med ldan ’khor ba nas], lifetime after lifetime, i.e. this present lifetime and all previous lifetimes. Ignorantly [ma ’tshal], without knowing [ma shes] the horrible karmic consequences of negative deeds, without knowing what to do and what to avoid, and being ignorant of karma, the law of cause and effect, one has committed various kinds of negative deeds. This refers to the ten non-virtuous actions [mi dge ba bcu], the five crimes with immediate retribution [mtshams med lnga], and so forth. The karma of negative deeds [sdig pa] is accumulated in three ways: 1) actually committing them oneself [rang gis dngos su bgyis pa], 2) inciting others to commit them [gzhan dag la bgyid du stsal ba], or 3) rejoicing in the negative deeds done by others [gzhan gyis sdig pa byas pa la rjes su yi rang ba]. These three have equally severe consequences. The karma of virtuous deeds [dge ba] is also accumulated in three ways: 1) actually performing virtue oneself, 2) inspiring others to perform virtuous actions, or 3) rejoicing in the virtue performed by others. These are equally meritorious. Both virtue and negativity depend on our minds. For instance, if you rejoice in the actions of Mao Tse-Tung or Adolf Hitler, who were responsible for the deaths of millions of people, you create the same karma as if you had committed these killings yourself. Similarly, if you rejoice in Buddha’s setting the

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wheel of dharma in motion, you create the same merit that Buddha created. Your mind is that powerful, and you can attract that much harm or virtue. If one hundred people decide that a person should be killed, each of these hundred accumulates the same negative karma. It is not that the actual killer accumulates most of the negativity while the other ninety-nine people accumulate less. Therefore, you must recognize these three ways of committing negativity as mistakes [nyes pa mthong] and at all cost avoid them in the future. The gravity of non-virtuous and virtuous deeds varies according to the following factors: their duration [dus], their causes [rgyu], the objects [yul] toward which they are directed, their basis [gzhi], their essence [ngo bo], their application [sbyor ba], and their effects [byed las]. The only good quality of a negative deed is that it can be purified through confession. All negative deeds and mistakes can be confessed and purified because they are concepts [’du shes] and thoughts [rnam rtog]. Even the most severe misdeeds such as the five crimes with immediate retribution can be purified. Care must be taken, however, not to assume that confession alone is sufficient to purify all one’s past negativity. Through confession you lay open and confess [mthol zhing bshags pa] all your negative deeds; you put these former evil thoughts out of your mind and resolve to never again repeat them. Making the firm resolve to abstain from repeating a negative deed at all costs in the future is the best and most powerful aspect of confession. Text section 214 / stanza 29: The way to confess [bshags tshul] your negative deeds is to develop a regretful mind [’gyod sems] and confess them from the bottom of your heart. Confess without concealing [mi ’chab] or hiding [mi sbed] anything; lay everything open in front of the objects of confession [bshags yul], the buddhas and bodhisattvas endowed with compassion. Knowing that the fruition of your negative deeds will ripen and cause you tremendous harm, recognize them as faults [nongs pa]. 215-216 / stanza 30: One can inflict harm on others with one’s body, speech or mind. There are differences in the severity of a negative deed, depending on the sensitivity of the object. The most sensitive or perilous objects [yul gnyen po] are the three jewels. They are called ‘a field of qualities’ [yon tan can gyi zhing] since they are endowed with inconceivable qualities. The Vajrayāna root guru is considered to be identical with the Buddha and also belongs in the field of qualities. Our parents constitute the most sensitive or perilous object after the three jewels. They are called ‘a field of benefits’ [phan ’dogs pa’i zhing] since they gave us life, nurtured us from early childhood onward, supplied us with clothing, shelter and education, thereby bestowing great benefits on us.

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Our teachers [bla ma], such as khenpos [mkhan po] and masters [slob dpon], constitute the next most perilous object. They are called a ‘field of kindness’ [bka’ drin gyi zhing] since they taught us reading and writing, gave us instructions in Buddhism, and bestowed the precepts of individual liberation and the bodhisattva precepts upon us. Our Mahāyāna sūtra teachers are considered to be similar to the Buddha and belong to the field of kindness. To commit misdeeds against these objects, whether with body, speech or mind, is therefore a very grave mistake. The most grave mistake is to fight, beat, hit or destroy the three jewels—including the fourth jewel, the root guru—one’s parents or one’s teachers. Slandering or speaking badly about them is also a heavy mistake. Holding wrong views and harboring ill-will toward them, furthermore, has dire consequences. These grave misdeeds are the most important things to confess. Harming the three jewels does not only mean destroying the three conventional worldly jewels [’jig rten kun rdzob kyi dkon mchog], such as statues [sku gzugs], dharma books [po ti], and an assembly of a minimum of four fully ordained monks [dge slong bzhi tshogs].140 Even merely harboring harmful intentions or having wrong views about the three jewels are very grave misdeeds. Actually, one should treat one’s parents in the same way one would treat a king [rgyal po]. Especially concerning one’s mother one should always give her the victory and take defeat and blame upon oneself. Besides the Buddha and one’s root guru, the people who have extended us the greatest kindness really are our parents. We must therefore use all means to make them happy. Hitting one’s parents, uttering harsh words to them, making them upset, giving them angry looks, displaying bad moods in their presence, ignoring them and the like have horrible karmic consequences. All these acts are severe misdeeds [sdig pa chen po]. Another important group of people who deserve special attention are all practitioners who dwell in samādhi, especially those who practice the meditation of kindness, and particularly, all who traverse the path of the bodhisattvas. Never inflict the slightest harm on any of these, neither physical harm nor verbal abuse. Do not even harbor any bad intentions toward them. Furthermore, stealing the property of the three jewels is an extremely negative deed. Misappropriating devotional objects, statues and old scriptures from monasteries and selling them is a severe fault. Inciting others to steal such objects as well as selling devotional objects that have been stolen both constitute extremely grave non-virtuous actions. On the contrary, making statues or printing texts carries great virtue and merit. An artist or printer of texts may distribute these freely or charge an appropriate amount without accumulating any negative karma.

140 One speaks of ‘a saṃgha group’ or ‘a saṃgha gathering’ [dge ’dun gyi sde] when a

minimum of four monks who are in possession of the bhikṣu precepts stay together at the same place and time.

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Text section 217: The story of Kyer-Gang-Pa suffering from tiny letter A’s piecing his skin because he accepted money to recite Buddhist scriptures but failed to recite them teaches that he had to experience the karmic consequences of his negative action even after becoming a siddha. Text section 218: One of the worst misdeeds anyone can commit, which is almost beyond purification through confession, is misappropriating the ‘property of the saṃgha’ [dge ’dun pa’i dkor]. The property of the saṃgha of the ten directions refers to the ‘general property’ of all the saṃgha members, wherever they may be as well as to general offerings made to the monastery. While mishandling these offerings is a grave offence, an even greater fault is the mishandling of offerings presented directly to the saṃgha. Offerings that sponsors have given particularly for monks must be directly passed on to them. The monastery is not allowed to keep any portion of such offerings. The monastery treasurer must use the money exactly according to the sponsor’s instructions. For example, he cannot use money intended for the monks to carry out monastery construction work; nor can he use money intended for construction to buy food for the monks. In short, one who steals, robs, does business with or takes with deceit even the smallest items which belong to the saṃgha will certainly take rebirth in hell since such a deed cannot be purified through confession. This is clearly stated in the sūtras. Stealing from the saṃgha is a graver misdeed than violating one’s Vajrayāna samayas. One must exercise such extreme care that the very same coins and bank notes that the sponsor gave for the monks are directly passed on to them without even changing the coins or notes into other denominations. The nomads in Tibet used dried yak dung to make a fire. When they camped near a monastery, they would take a piece of yak dung to light at the fire of the monastery’s kitchen. After they had started their own fire, they always returned a piece of yak dung to the monastery to replace the fire flame they had borrowed. When you take even a little thing from a monastery you must replace it right away or you will suffer karmic consequences. Furthermore, you should never use any possessions belonging to the saṃgha. Text section 219: Moreover, many stories recount how people who broke in anger a clay cooking pot [phru ba] that belonged to the saṃgha took rebirth in a clay-pot-like hell. In general, Buddha said that something that is given to the upper temple should not be used for the lower temple and vice versa. The summer earnings of the saṃgha should not be distributed during the winter; nor should the winter earnings be handed out during the summer. What was given today should not be handed out tomorrow. When the

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Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations

sponsor says that a donation should be given to the saṃgha on this very day, the treasurer must not give the donation to the saṃgha even a day later. Text section 220: Spitting at or smearing mucus on the walls or pillars of the temple hall of the saṃgha [dge ’dun gyi ’du khang] is absolutely not appropriate and will result in rebirth in a wall or pillar-like hell realm. Never stain a temple, the living quarters of the monks, or any part of a monastery. Again, Khenpo Kunpal reiterates the injunction against using any saṃgha property, not even a dustbin or a broom, as this leads to rebirth in a dustbin or broom-like hell realm. Distributing the earnings of the saṃgha during the wrong season causes rebirth as an insect with a very thin waist. Street dogs with horrible skin diseases are said to be the rebirth of people who misused saṃgha property or of those government officials who mishandled public funds. Many monks in the past gave back their vows to the Buddha, meaning they gave up their vows, as they did not want to create the bad karma of living off monastic property without being worthy of it. When they told the Buddha that they did not want to be monks any longer as they felt they could not handle monastic property without creating bad karma, Buddha honored their decision and praised them for acting very properly. The true owners of monastic property [dkor gyi bdag po] are arhats, pratyekabuddhas and the perfectly enlightened Buddha, those who have attained the path of no-morelearning [mi slob pa’i lam]. All who have attained the path of seeing [mthong lam] and the path of meditation [sgom lam], such as stream-enterers, once-returners and nonreturners are the true recipients for gifts [yon yongs su sbyongs ba chen po]. Buddha also said that those who keep all their monastic vows intact, who sincerely study [thos], contemplate [bsam] and meditate [sgom], may also use gifts given to them as well as saṃgha property. But monks who do not maintain perfect discipline and do not study, contemplate or meditate should never use monastic property or receive gifts given to the saṃgha. Those monks who are on the path of accumulation [tshogs lam] and the path of application [sbyor lam] are still ordinary beings [so so’i skye bo]. They include the following: those who follow the tradition of reading, studying and reflecting on the teachings [klog pa thos bsam gyi ’khor lo], those who follow the tradition of practicing meditation and renunciation in solitude [spong ba bsam gtan gyi ’khor lo], and those who follow the tradition of working for the dharma [bya ba las kyi ’khor lo]. All monks following one of these three traditions [’khor lo rnam gsum] have permission to receive gifts. The noble saṃgha is able to receive any kind of offering and remain uncorrupted. But someone who receives offerings on the pretence of being a monk or an exalted being will be corrupted by accepting the offerings. To be a proper recipient of offerings one

In this situation. the lama is functioning as the monastery treasurer. A slight misuse of monastic property might seem very insignificant. Nevertheless. we confess to the buddhas and bodhisattvas all our negative deeds one by one and openly. an action not even punishable according to the law of the country. one is allowed to receive monastic food and use monastery facilities. But if a sponsor designates money for the monastery or for the saṃgha.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 267 should at least be perfect in discipline [tshul khrims phun sum tshogs pa] or dwell in the practice of the two stages. . Living as a servant of a lama or as a serious practitioner in a monastery. these dormant seeds and their ripening. All such donations must be distributed immediately. Such an offering does not belong to him but to the saṃgha. we inevitably take rebirth in the hell realms. we must be very careful about how we act. or the lama or rinpoche will suffer dire consequences. It is said: “A cause as tiny as a sesame seed can have a result as huge as Mount Sumeru. Someone who does not fit into either of these categories but accepts offerings under the guise of being qualified to receive them will accumulate great demerit. visualization stage and completion stage. it is said that what has been given to the saṃgha is like poison when misused. However. hiding nothing. or if he gives money for rituals to be performed by the saṃgha. then that donation is considered the ‘heavy’ property of the saṃgha [dge ’dun gyi dkor nag po] and should never by used by the lama or rinpoche in any other way. When our negative deeds ripen and manifest.” We have committed many mistakes [nyes pa] and negative deeds in the past. using monastic facilities and eating monastic food is like eating poison. His duty is to pass such donations on immediately. who alone knew the workings of karma completely. But if someone just lives on monastic property without serving any real function or without compensating the monastery for room and board. the rules and regulations for the monks cannot be compared to the laws and customs of a country. like a disease lying dormant in our body. and we carry these in our minds as seeds which will inevitably ripen one day. or that are given to him personally simply out of devotion. In order to remove these causes and consequences. The lama or rinpoche may use donations given for his own use or for work he himself is to perform. possessions and property of the saṃgha is almost impossible to purify through confession. Thus. whenever we as ordinary practitioners stay in a monastery. Text section 242: Khenpo Kunpal probably put these stories in the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra commentary with managers of monasteries who misused donations in mind. Text sections 217 to 241 contain many stories describing the dire karmic consequences of misappropriating monastic property. The unjust receipt of gifts. All rules for monks and nuns were formulated by the Buddha. with no negative consequences. Even a lama or rinpoche who heads a monastery must be extremely conscientious about handling donations given for the monks.

confess our errors and mistakes. Every important lama also has a private secretary [drung yig]. The person responsible for buying and storing food and provisions for all the monks in one lama’s residence is called ‘the larder manager’ [gnyer pa / spyi khag]. confession is not possible. should reprint many volumes of dharma books. Regret [’gyod sems] is an aspect of wisdom-knowledge [shes rab]. this person is normally appointed or elected to his post for five years. Any negativity committed toward Buddha must be confessed and amended directly to Buddha himself. Therefore. The posts of treasurer and larder manager are the most powerful positions in a monastery. You will lose respect for yourself.”I have done wrong” [nga bya ba ngan pa byas song] will stay in your mind like a heavy weight [lci ba]. Confession enables us to remove our former misdeeds. As long as we cannot identify a substance as poison we continue to eat it. You will no longer be able to rejoice in your negative actions. one immediately stops eating it and tries to get it out of the system. In Tibetan monasteries the general manager is often a lay person [mi skya]. The person in charge of butter lamps in a temple hall is called the ‘temple servant’ [dkon gnyer]. Negative deeds toward your parents must be confessed and amended directly with them. As long as we cannot identify negative deeds for what they are. some people fall into such a state of despair that they see no alternative other than suicide. A mind filled with negativity is like a mind consumed by fire. we commit errors [nor ba]. becoming unhappy and dissatisfied. Someone who has committed any of the above misdeeds in regard to the saṃgha should offer confessions and make many offerings to the saṃgha itself. we must learn that the ten non-virtuous actions [mi dge bcu]. The ‘treasurer’ or ‘general office manager’ [phyag mdzod] is the person in charge of the finances of one lama’s residence [bla brang]. We can. At some point in time one will become aware of one’s wrongdoings and will develop a strong feeling of guilt. A student who has spoken badly about his teacher should confess and amend this wrongdoing directly to his teacher. Text section 243 / stanza 31: Since we sentient beings are under the power of ignorance [ma rig pa]. Someone who has committed any negativity toward the dharma. the ability to identify one’s wrongdoings [nor ba ngos ’dzin pa] coupled with the wish to get rid of them. The moment one realizes one is eating poison. and the sooner we eliminate them through confession the better. Losing confidence in yourself. called ‘guilt- . This state of mind. you will no longer be able to look at yourself without feeling disgust. The thought. which will destroy our happiness like rust corrodes iron. the five crimes with immediate rebribution [mtshams med lnga].268 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Big monasteries in east Tibet had a separate residence for each important lama with its own treasurer and managers. In east Tibet. Without knowing how to remedy their evil deeds. and so forth are negative deeds with horrible karmic consequences. however. For as long as we allow negative deeds to remain in our minds their consequences will harm us.

While dying we will experience great fear. Bring to mind your misdeeds and declare them aloud. and the limbs struggle. confessing them to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. the buddhas and bodhisattvas. who lead all those who have committed the most intolerable acts [shin tu mi bzad pa’i las bgyis pa de dag thams cad] out of the three lower realms of saṃsāra into the three higher realms and to liberation. Confession removes both the misdeed and its karmic consequences. Text section 244 / stanza 32: Do not die before offering sincere confessions to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. motivated by these afflictions. means that just as rust clings to iron. We have seen many people die young. We have created the causes [rgyu] for taking rebirth in saṃsāra. ignorance [gti mug] to rebirth in the animal realm. we have seen many people of our own age die suddenly. All the abovementioned negative deeds bear horrible karmic consequences. placing your hands on the ground. Regret arises from wisdom-knowledge and is the ability to identify one’s wrongdoings coupled with the wish to get rid of them. Dedicate short but repeated periods of time to developing regret. Visualize the buddhas and bodhisattvas before you in the sky. the mouth and nose become extremely dry. Pride [nga rgyal] is the cause for rebirth in the god realm. Going down on your knees.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 269 ridden’. Knowing that the mind-stream can be purified through the method of sincere confession. When the earth element dissolves into earth. Clinging to the stains of various misdeeds [nyes pa du mas skyon chags pa] in our minds. Purify your mind through short practice periods of sincere confession. Do not dwell too long on regret over your past negative actions. and desire [’dod chags] for rebirth in the human realm. fluids issue from the mouth and nostrils. Anger [zhe sdang] leads to rebirth in the hell realms. The power to stand up and move is exhausted. We may even die this very day. The body loses heat from the extremities inward. jealousy [phrag dog] for rebirth in the asura realm. Why should death not come to us as well? We experience the suffering of being cut off from life at the moment of death [’chi kha gnad gcod kyi sdug bsngal]. we have committed innumerable wicked deeds with our body. When the water element dissolves into water. is very different from what is called ‘regret’ [’gyod sems]. the breath becomes erratic. When the wind element dissolves into the vital energy. We confess before the compassionate guides [’dren pa thugs rje can]. but do not let your practice of confession slip into a mind filled with worry [sems brel] and guilt. Trust in your ability to purify your negative deeds through confession. and must be confessed quickly since we cannot know when death will come. and touching your forehead to the ground is a very effective way to offer confessions. pain or sickness. When the fire element dissolves into fire. the heaviness of the body impairs one’s ability to raise oneself. and miserliness [ser sna] to rebirth in the preta realm. We will feel our life draining out as the elements dissolve one after another [’byung ba thim rim]. and have caused obstacles for the path to liberation. the feeling of guilt does not overpower the mind. speech and mind. The eyes roll back in the .

Propelled by previous karma. No matter what he does at the point of death. What method can free him? It is too late and nothing can be done. That is the law of cause and effect. When body and mind separate one enters into the ‘bardo of the natural state’ [chos nyid bar do]. If we have committed great evil our minds will fall into a state of despair and regret that we never practiced dharma. the experience of suffering in the three lower realms. The countless evil deeds committed in past lifetimes will certainly ripen. Finally. we are forced to take rebirth and experience the suffering of the three lower realms in the next life [phyi ma ngan song gi sdug bsngal]. These various forms of suffering all arise from one’s own negative deeds and non-virtuous actions. A Buddhist practitioner who has purified his mind-stream throughout his life might die in a peaceful and virtuous state of mind or might even be able to recognize his buddha nature at the moment of death. from his negative deeds. . it will be difficult for him to be liberated with certainty [nges par]. This is like deciding no longer to associate with evil friends. We will next experience the suffering of the intermediate state after death [shi nas bar do’i sdug bsngal]. The mind finds no rest at all. That is a very peaceful way of dying. We will clearly remember the good and the bad things we have done. the causes for taking rebirth in the three lower realms. We should be frightened and go for refuge to the three jewels. Knowing that we will go to the lower realms leads to great fear. That stage in the process of death is called the ‘bardo of the moment of death’ [’chi kha bar do]. as practitoners. In this way we must distance ourselves from our former negative patterns. He will have to experience the consequences of his negative deeds. and the thought. we should immediately develop heartfelt regret [’gyod sems] about our former misdeeds. and from their results. Karma drives this mental body to the future place of rebirth. Therefore. But even a Buddhist practitioner can die in a state of great physical pain or fear. and the breath does not return. beyond any doubt [gdod mi za bar]. one enters into the ‘bardo of existence’ [srid pa bar do] where one travels in a mental body [yid kyi lus]. In that case. We need to resolve to eliminate these negative deeds which are the causes for future suffering. These are the signs of a person dying. One’s state of mind at the moment of death is of utmost importance. completely entrusting your mind to Buddha or Guru Rinpoche rather than focusing on the fear and pain is of crucial importance. one is blown around like a feather in the wind. At the moment of death all major deeds of our entire life flash through our mind. A person who dies without having purified his negative deeds through confession will certainly take rebirth in the three lower realms and experience intense suffering. The light manifestations of the peaceful and wrathful deities appear. we should begin the practice of confession immediately.270 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations head. “I am dead. Knowing now about the suffering of the three lower realms.” is a source of tremendous misery. Following this.

The Māra of Death is also called ‘the enemy as time’ [dus dgra]. Bring everything out into the open and actually confess it.” Through such repeated promises your mind will become strong and confident. This is the power of resolve.” does not save you from the consequences of your anger. As the remedy [gnyen po] for our former negative actions. thereby completely distancing yourself from negativity. we need to endeavor tirelessly from now on in virtue. Develop a deep sense of regret [’gyod sems]. A practitioner must repeatedly renew the resolve to abstain from committing misdeeds in the future. Be aware that all the conditions for your immediate death have already come together. put no trust [yid mi brtan] in this fleeting life [glo bur ba’i tshe]. Text sections 245-246 / stanza 33: You might think that although you will die some day. As a Buddhist you must assume responsibility for your own afflictions. however. Many people feel unable to firmly resolve to abstain from further wrong-doing. Promise yourself. Any affliction that arises in your mind is a fault [nor ba] whether or not there is a so-called justification. the time of your death is utterly uncertain. They think it will be impossible to keep this promise. the practice of confession has four steps: 1) Visualize the buddhas and bodhisattvas as the object to whom you offer confession [bshags pa’i rten]. “I will no longer commit any non-virtuous actions. A Buddhist practitioner must guard his mind against the rise of afflictions. Assume a humble position with your body while confessing. As a Buddhist. 3) Form the strong resolve [sdom sems] to abstain from repeating non-virtuous deeds in the future. There are many circumstances that could cause your death at any given time. The Māra of Death [’chi bdag gi bdud] could arrive any moment. 4) Finally. The Māra of Death is impermanence [mi rtag pa] or time [dus]. Do not blame others to justify your negative actions. Therefore. Such thinking is disempowering. right now you have no time to make confessions. To summarize. Impermanence does not halt for even a . you have no way of knowing when you are going to die. “He treated me badly and therefore I hate him. 2) Bring to mind all your negative deeds. Virtue and goodness have a great healing qualities. Generate the confidence that your negative deeds have now been purified. Then you will have no suffering in the future. Confession is part of mind-training [blo sbyong]. Acknowledge them for what they are. Thinking. apply the antidote of virtuous deeds [gnyen po dge ba’i las]. and develop the wish to rid yourself of that kind of karma. whether or not you are sick.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 271 We need the mental resolve [sdom sems] to abstain from repeating these negative actions in the future. From now on infuse your mind with goodness. Keep nothing hidden in your mind. He will not listen if you plead with him to wait because you have not finished this or that job or have not yet made your confessions. Start immediately to free yourself from all past evil deeds through confession. Whether or not you have confessed. This is the power of the antidote. Actually. never allow your mind to generate non-virtue. and you train in confession until you can do it.

Make your plans only for one day of practice at a time. When you meditate intensely on the impermanence of life you understand the preciousness of time. We should meditate with joy and gratitude that we have maybe one more day to practice the dharma. No matter what crucial work lies ahead of you waiting to be completed. many healthy people die who have no fatal sicknesses. like Nāgārjuna we should feel surprised that we are still alive. Generally. The term ‘healthy person’ [gcong med] refers to a person without any fatal disease. Eventually you will gain such an understanding of impermanence that you will no longer waste a single moment of your life. “Through the blessing of the Buddha. Consider every day you live as an extra bonus. many people let life go to waste without practicing sincerely. For example. Live your entire life as if each moment could be your last. He is astounded that life continues from one breath to the next and finds it utterly surprising that one still awakens from sleep. The young and healthy die as well.” Do not let your life pass by without experiencing wonder at being alive. someone with terminal cancer knows he will die soon. every second we remain alive is most precious. . Think. jealousy and pride. people kill. The odds of dying are much greater than the odds of continuing to live. I might have one more day to live. ‘Many a’ [brgya] is a pural particle. Not only the sick and old die. impermanence will not halt for this task to be carried out. practice confession as soon as possible. You might die even today. The quote. Among all concepts the concept of impermanence is said to be supreme. Failing to appreciate their lives. even for one in perfect health. through the power of my former virtue. Life is as fleeting as a candle in the wind or a sunbeam that breaks through the clouds. You do not know the circumstances of your death—when. where or how you will die. But while he lies ill. Death can strike at any time. who will certainly die [gtan gtan shi ’gro gi red]. steal and 141 The term ‘someone who is terminally ill’ [gcong can] means a ‘person with a fatal sickness’. Every morning when we wake up. I will use this day for dharma practice and will not waste any time with worldly activities. resentment. a sick person [mi na tsha can] who will not recover from his sickness [na tshad drag mi thub pa]. Text section 248 / stanza 34: When the time of death comes. In the name of helping friends and fighting enemies. In fact. “Many a healthy person dies during the lifespan (remaining to) someone who is terminally ill. Start your confession right now. ignorance.272 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations second. life is spent supporting friends and relatives and fighting enemies with a mind clouded by attachment.141” indicates the uncertainty of life [tshe la nges pa med pa]. you will have to go alone and leave all your friends and relatives behind. Embrace all your activities with bodhicitta. Therefore. Text section 247: Nāgārjuna in his Suhṛl-lekha [spring yig] compares the fleeting conditions of this life to a wind-blown water bubble.

this negative energy will actually ripen into a karmic fruition. These kinds of thoughts become very powerful when three factors come together: 1) thinking a negative thought with intensity [shugs chen po]. unaware of this. Since you. for the purpose of supporting your friends and defeating your enemies. even if you do not defeat or kill them. Through confessing your evil deeds with true regret. in a general manner. Through genetic ties you call people ‘relatives’. In stanza 34 you develop strong regret for having accumulated so much meaningless [don med] negativity since you failed to realize that you will leave everything behind. Our mind seems crazed by intense attachment to the five sense pleasures of sight. while gathering the accumulations of wisdom and merit purifies obscurations indirectly. you disconnect yourself from your own negativity and thus change your character. since in fact the entire universe and all its inhabitants will cease to be. if bad thoughts come to your mind from time to time. “I should really kill this person or at least beat him up” arises in your mind. smell. Regreting negative thoughts is like pressing the delete button on a computer. in spite of knowing all of this. you commit many negative deeds such as killing. Sometimes you feel upset about a person and the thought. committing all kinds of wicked deeds for the sake of friends and foes is completely meaningless. friends [grogs]. you will die alone. develop strong regret. enemies [dgra]. But. When you die. motivated by attachment and aversion. country [yul ris]. as long as you recognize this to be a fault. realization dawns in your mind. your friends and relatives. and all your enemies will die too. If you just occasionally feel strong resentment against someone. 2) continuously [rgyun ma chad pa] entertaining such a thought. companions [gnyen]. Once your obscurations are purified. we continue to be driven by the same afflictions. committing all these negative deeds is totally pointless as sooner or later your enemies will die anyway. stealing. family [khyim bza’ tshang] and so forth. They are a strong negative force. such negative energy will not result in karmic ripening. Text section 249 / stanza 35: Actually. lying and so forth. In order to make your mind calm and clear you . and 3) feeling no regret [’gyod pa med pa] about having such a thought. leaving behind your place [sa cha]. Confession directly purifies obscurations by addressing them individually. taste and touch. relatives [gnyen].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 273 commit various kinds of evil deeds. community [srid sde]. sound. Confession done with heartfelt regret is very powerful. without any friend. All the friends and relatives you support and maintain are motivated by egotism [rang ’dod] and egoclinging [bdag ’dzin] and will not bring you ultimate benefit. Thinking about all the negative deeds that you have accumulated for the sake of your friends and enemies. If these three factors are gathered in your mind. You will be pulled out of this life like a hair pulled from butter [mar gyi dkyil nas spu bton pa bzhin]. Through karmic and social connections you call people ‘friends’. Sincerely confess all the infinite negative thoughts you have had in this and all former lives. You can actually purify many old obscurations through confession. Nevertheless.

If this is the only outcome of all your struggles to protect your friends and defeat your enemies. “My accumulation of so many negative deeds for the sake of this short and dream-like life was utterly pointless and harmful to myself and others. “Motivated by attachment and aversion for the sake of friends and foes. In such a situation you might be able to gain some understanding of impermanence. For as long as you have not overcome your dualistic mind. You will develop strong regret and think.” or. your former misdeeds remain constantly with you. You see your friends and enemies dying. gathering the two accumulations of merit and wisdom purifies negative deeds. even though you may be unaware of it. .274 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations should go to an isolated place and stay for some time in retreat. Through the wisdom that realizes egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. It was wrong. the wrong-doing that you committed has not died. you obviously wasted your time and energy. The true result of all your negative deeds is that the energy of these negative mind-sets [ngan sems kyi nus pa] stays with you. Such insights will reveal the meaninglessness of worldly pursuits. moreover. and all that remains of these loving or hateful relationships is the thought. if in last night’s dream you enjoyed the five sense pleasures or if you dreamed you were subduing enemies. This negativity can be purified through several methods. Nothing concrete remained. This negative energy lies dormant in your mind and is what must be purified through confession. The supreme method is to overcome your dualistic mind through the realization of profound emptiness. Never for a moment assume that your negative deeds will disappear with the passing of time. Although your friends and enemies have perished. all your wicked deeds will be eradicated. “My old friend has passed away. Think. upon waking this morning it became a mere memory. I was so deluded. In addition. you can see how friends become enemies and enemies become friends. From now on. this negativity will eventually ripen in your mind and lead you to the three lower realms. I accumulated negative deeds. supporting friends.” Through this observation you realize that all the terrible things you did to others in order to maintain relationships with friends and overcome enemies were utterly pointless. achieving gain and honor and so forth. If you fail to purify this negative energy. Only recollections remain. through strong compassion and devotion and through training in pure perception [dag snang]. your own mind essence. Negative karma can be purified through heartfelt regret and confession. The energy of your former negative deeds stays with you and you will eventually experience a terrible karmic result.” Text section 250 / stanza 36: For example. all your past experience in real life is reduced to a mere memory. Similarly. “ Text section 251 / stanza 37: In this very life. This was utterly pointless. I will endeavor only in the practice of dharma. “My enemy has died.

Text section 253: Whatever karma we create. your former evil deeds will follow you like a shadow follows the body. Karma thus follows us like a shadow follows the body. if you do not want to suffer the consequences you must rid yourself of the negative forces in your mind. one of Buddha’s main sponosrs and the one who donated the Jetavana (Prince Jeta’s Grove) in 142 See the 11th story of Kalpalatā. pages 50-53. After this Nanda overcame all attachment to his wife Sundarī [mdzes ma] and to the most beautiful of all goddesses. Beings who are not yet bodhisattvas can greatly reduce the karmic effect of their former misdeeds by practicing confession endowed with the four powers. Text section 252: When we die. While Śuka was measuring a location for the garden’s construction. The one who takes rebirth is your mind. For as long as we hold aggression in our mind. pages . dad pa’i nyin byed. ready to ripen as a result of your deeds. body and mind separate. These habitual patterns are nothing other than our karma [las]. 143 Śuka [mdang ldan] is probably another name for Anāthapiṇḍada [mgon med zas sbyin]. Heaven Tree. which will accompany your wherever you go. The hell realm only ceases to exist for us when aggression has ceased in our mind. Karma is nothing other than the power of your own mind [sems kyi nus pa]. our mind holds the seeds for rebirth in the hell realms. however. and the karmic ripening of your deeds will remain waiting ahead of you. ready to manifest. Once that realization is stabilized. Śāriputra [sha ri’i bu] could see that the fruition of this tremendous meritorious action would ripen for Śuka during his very lifetime [tshe ’di la]. and the positive and negative tendencies in your mind are always with you. If.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 275 All these methods enable one to overcome old habitual patterns [bag chags snying pa]. Since Buddha’s cousin Nanda [dga’ bo] was very attached to saṃsāra. our past volitional actions. you fail to apply any of these methods. Therefore. Buddha took him to the hell realms and to the celestial realm of the thirty-three [sum cu rtsa gsum gyi lha yul] to show him what karma was waiting for him. and we take a new rebirth. dualistic mind is overcome and neither an experiencer nor an experience of karmic ripening remains.143 This type of karma is called ‘karma experienced within this life’ [mthong chos myong ’gyur gyi las]. page 460. waiting for us [mdun na sgug bsdad ’dug]. its fruition remains ahead of us [las kyi ’bras bu mdun na gnas pa].142 A donor called Śuka [mdang ldan] offered a park [kun dga’ ra ba] to the Buddha. and he became an arhat. 247-255. But understand one point very clearly: Only when a bodhisattva has realized profound emptiness can all his negative karma and its ripening be utterly eradicated. The habitual patterns of our mind [sems kyi bag chags] remain with us however.

we are always on the verge of death and none of our worldly activities are of any importance at all. Śrāvastī to the Saṃgha. We have committed the ten non-virtuous actions. and driven by feelings of attachment to our own group and our own goals as well as feelings of aversion toward other groups and what we do not desire. We do not actually believe that the evil we committed in the past is going to catch up with us. positive as well as negative. whose function is to prepare their daily accommodations in advance. Only the dharma can benefit us. Generate strong regret in your heart. We know it is said that we will very soon cease to exist. we will be received and welcomed either by the henchmen of Yama. are already in place. Just as all these preparations are made in advance before a great lama arrives. the Lord of Death. so all the preparations for the ripening of our karma. Text section 255 / stanza 38: We neither know where we came from in our previous lifetimes nor do we know where we will go when we die. pages 191-200.276 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Text section 254: When great lamas and celebrities travel. In fact. or by celestial beings and protectors. In the same way as lamas and celebrities are received by their servants. we believe in our own greatness and attach considerable importance to ourselves and to our activities. See dad pa’i nyin byed. sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. Instead we think that we will probably have a long lifespan. we commit various wicked deeds out of ignorance. thus intensifying our fixations and attachments to life. stealing and the like. He travels half a day ahead to set up camp. We are like little seasonal insects that only live from spring to autumn. He sets up the residence [gnas gzhi btang ba]. the four serious faults. perceiving our personal life as truly existing. however. Being ignorant about what to do and what not to do. the five crimes with immediate retribution. the more attachment and fixations we build up. they have a man literally called the ‘carpet spreader’ [gdan ’byams]. thereby accumulating much negative karma. We tend to believe in the permanence of life. thinking that the karmic fruition of these negative deeds will be unbearable. the five perverted ways of sustenance and others. we have committed and accumulated various evil deeds such as killing. The more important we think we are. Despite being ephemeral [glo bur ba]. builds the hearth [thab bzungs] and so forth. page 169. and cling to these fixations and deep-rooted beliefs strongly. but we do not truly realize this. the five secondary crimes with immediate retribution. aversion and attachment. We follow cultural conventions as though they were laws of nature. Not realizing this. In the face of death they are utterly meaningless. flying around without any orientation. .

as well as to those genuine beginning bodhisattvas. contemplation and meditation [thos bsam bsgom pa’i lam la slob pa’i dge ’dun]. 2) killing a true bodhisattva [byang sems nges gnas gsod pa]. meaning those more learned than oneself. 2) The wealth and possessions of a tantrika are as sensitive or perilous as the possessions of the saṃgha. Doing this indicates that you do not acknowledge and accept the qualities of others. 1) Since a female arhat has overcome the obscuration of afflictions she would never engage in sexual conduct. endowed with great bodhicitta. 2) killing one’s mother [ma gsod pa]. 7) worthless chatter [ngag kyal]. 4) preventing the income of the saṃgha [dge ’dun gyi ’du sgo ’phrog pa] and 5) destroying a stūpa [mchod rten bshig pa]. 3) killing a practicing saṃgha member [slob pa’i dge ’dun gsod pa]. 5) Destroying a stūpa means to destroy a representation of Buddha’s mind. 3) the serious fault of accepting the prostration of a fully ordained monk [dge slong gi phyag lci] and 4) the serious fault of eating a practitioner’s food [sgrub pa po’i zas lci]. 9) wishing harm to others [gnod sems] and 10) wrong views [log lta]. Therefore raping a female arhat is a severe crime. 2) A true [nges gnas] bodhisattva refers to a ‘noble being bodhisattva’ who is dwelling on one of the bodhisattva levels. that you do not give respect to those who deserve it. 4) Preventing the income of the saṃgha means to keep others from making donations and presenting offerings to the saṃgha. 5) sowing discord [phra ma byed pa]. 3) killing an arhat [dra bcom pa gsod pa]. who will become true bodhisattvas in the future. the precious vinaya. 4) creating a split in the saṃgha [dge ’dun gyi dbyen byed pa] and 5) malevolently causing a buddha to bleed [de bzhin gshegs pa’i sku la ngan sems kyis khrag ’byin pa].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 277 The ten non-virtuous actions [dge ba bcu] are: 1) taking life [srog gcod pa]. Among the three trainings of discipline. 3) Ordinary people should always avoid standing or sitting in front of monks when the monks are offering prostrations. Monks are the upholders of the training in discipline. that is to say doctrine [bstan] and teacher [ston pa]. The vinaya is considered to be both dharma and Buddha. These are four serious mistakes a practitioner should avoid: 1) One should never sit higher or at the top of a line of scholars. 8) covetousness [rnab sems]. 2) taking what is not given [ma byin par len pa]. 2) the serious fault of appropriating a tantrika’s wealth [sngags pa’i nor lci]. the sublime dharma. The five crimes with immediate retribution [mtshams med pa lnga] are: 1) killing one’s father [pha gsod pa]. 3) sexual misconduct [log g. 3) A practicing saṃgha member refers to those practitioners endowed with the precepts of individual liberation who practice the path of study. 4) speaking lies [rdzun smra ba]. and wisdom-knowledge. The five secondary crimes with immediate retribution [nye ba’i mtshams med pa lnga] are: 1) Raping a female arhat [dgra bcom ma la ’dod log spyod pa]. the training in . The four serious faults [lci ba bzhi] are: 1) the serious fault of sitting at the head of the row of scholars [mkhas pa’i gral gong lci].yem]. samādhi. 6) harsh speech [tshig rtsub].

” and to no longer regard that person as one’s teacher. 2) praising evil [nag phyogs la bstod pa]. Only if a false guru is teaching a wrong path. 5) To give up one’s master means to say. To destroy that kind of faith means to destroy a sentient being’s happiness. Accepting a prostration from a monk greatly diminishes one’s personal merit. 4) Never upset the minds of the faithful by trying to destroy their faith and devotion. Never praise your own teacher in order to destroy the faith of other practitioners in their personal teachers. Never speak badly about the benefits of virtue such as the ten virtuous actions. 3) interrupting or destroying the accumulation of merit of a virtuous person [dge ba can gyi tshogs bsags pa la bar du gcod cing tshogs bcag pa].278 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations discipline [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa] is considered to be the most precious. being both dharma and Buddha. We are also prostrating to the saṃgha as the monk is a member of the saṃgha. Among the three piṭakas. even if the retreatant offers the food. the vinaya piṭaka is said to be the basis of all since it contains the prātimokṣa precepts [sor sdom]. a perverted form of dharma. This is crucial. bodhicitta or the six transcendental perfections. A faithful mind is a mind infused with happiness. Never criticize or slander any teacher of the genuine dharma in order to destroy his student’s faith. 3) Never create obstacles for those who practice virtue and gather the accumulation of merit. 2) Avoid praising negativity and non-virtuous conduct such as praising a so-called hero who has killed many beings. Never say that such virtues are pointless or bring no results. we prostrate to the dharma as well as to the Buddha since the monk upholds the vinaya. is a bodhisattva allowed to prevent others from following such a teacher. and this constitutes a root downfall for a bodhisattva. 6) giving up one’s deity [lha spangs]. “From now on this person is no longer my guru. The eight perverse acts [log pa brgyad] are: 1) criticizing goodness [dkar phyogs la smad pa]. 1) Criticizing goodness means putting down virtue and virtuous conduct. 4) One should never eat the food of a practitioner who is staying in retreat. his personal food is the food of all sentient beings. Taking food from a retreatant is as severe as taking food away from all sentient beings. When we prostrate to a monk. 7) giving up one’s vajra brothers and sisters [mched lcam spangs] and 8) desecrating a sacred mandala [dkyil ’khor gnyan po dral]. A student who receives the prātimokṣa precepts from . Never prevent practitioners from practicing virtue. 4) disturbing the minds of those who have devotion [dad pa can gyi thugs dkrugs pa]. This constitutes severing one’s connection to one’s guru. The vinaya is considered to be the representative of the Buddha [sangs rgyas kyi tshab] as well as the Buddha’s teaching. Retreatants are recipients of offerings and not donors of food. 5) giving up one’s master [bla ma spangs]. Since a retreatant strives for enlightenment in order to free all beings from suffering and establish them on the level of perfect enlighenment.

if one practices the sādhana of a Mañjuśri maṇḍala. “I will practice the meditation and recitation of this deity until I have reached the realization of this deity. one must keep the spiritual commitments that go along with that practice. one will quickly advance to the three lower realms of saṃsāra. 4) obtaining something through open theft [thob kyis ’jal ba]. the water. his precepts will deteriorate [nyams pa]. or by pretending to have certain qualities which one does not have. The seed will ripen only if planted in soil. Abandoning the Buddha or one’s teacher means abandoning the conditions for attaining happiness [bde ba’i rkyen]. If one breaks the commitments. 8) Desecrating a sacred maṇḍala means violating the spiritual commitments.” For example. The teacher is the condition for all dharma qualities that arise in the mind of the student. 1) ‘Pretentiousness’ means trying to obtain food or donations from a sponsor by pretending to be something which one is not. speech and mind of a particular tantric sādhana. All qualities that a student acquires from a teacher are based on the intimate relationship of cause [rgyu] and condition [rkyen]. The five perverted ways of sustenance [log pa’i ’tsho ba lnga] are: 1) obtaining something through pretentiousness [tshul ’chos]. This is your dharma path to enlightenment. The maṇḍala is a sensitive. The dharma is like the seed. When a student receives the bodhisattva precepts from a teacher and then abandons that teacher. 3) ‘Hinting’ means trying to obtain something that belongs to someone else by praising it. you commit to meditate on the Bodhisattva Mañjuśri until you have gained the realization of Mañjuśri. and the dharma that he has taught the student is the cause for these qualities to arise. For instance. To carry out the practice of a meditation deity means committing in one’s mind. Happiness here refers to the temporary happiness of the higher states of saṃsāra. If he instead abandons him. irrigated with water. praising someone else’s watch with the expectation that it . perilous and sacred object [yul gnyan po]. A student who abandons his Vajrayāna master completely destroys all his tantric samayas. For instance. and 5) obtaining something through calculated generosity [rnyed pas rnyed pa ’tshol ba]. 2) obtaining something through flattery [kha gsag]. the samayas [dam tshig] for body. Abandoning the dharma means abandoning the causes for attaining happiness [bde ba’i rgyu]. 7) Giving up one’s vajra brothers and sisters means abandoning the saṃgha. he is committing a serious mistake. Keeping the commitments. one will progress swiftly. 3) obtaining something through hinting at it [gzhogs slong]. the happinesss of liberation and the ultimate happiness of omniscience. and the teacher is like the soil. 6) Giving up one’s meditation deity [yi dam] means giving up the dharma. 2) ‘Flattery’ means trying to obtain food or donations from a sponsor through speaking pleasant words that will delight the sponsor. Respecting one’s dharma friends and keeping harmony in the saṃgha is of utmost importance.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 279 a teacher is duty-bound to respect that teacher. and warmed by the sun. and the sun.

Therefore. will not be able to help us. even the king of all physicians. never increasing. No one among your relatives and physicians can give you proper guidance about how to face death. the Medicine Buddha [sangs rgyas sman pa’i rgyal po] in person. Meditating correctly on the impermanence of life leads to a relaxed mind at ease. We should confess it all right now since as our lifespan is diminishing. No sympathy offered by your relatives can change the fact that you are dying. You are alone and you will . we must begin confession right now. “I need this. This process of life dwindling away does not stop for even a second. This fleeting life [glo bur tshe]. You alone will have to experience the harsh and unpleasant feeling of your life being severed.” and simply snatching it from its owner. A practitioner like this will be able to give victory to others and take defeat upon himself. Nobody can escape death. No one can help you cross over to the other side. 4) ‘Open theft’ in this context means obtaining something that belongs to someone else by saying. but will treat other beings only with love and kindness. 5) ‘Calculated generosity’ means presenting a small gift to the sponsor in hope of obtaining a large donation in return. Similarly. No one can relieve you from this suffering. One who has really taken impermanence to heart is strongly inspired to practice and will not waste any time with pointless and harmful activities such as arguing. you lie on your deathbed. This is a one-way street and no one can reverse this process. Text section 256 / stanza 39: We have committed and accumulated in this and former lifetimes all these and many other forms of wrong-doing. Nevertheless. Our lifespan decreases moment to moment. is not something we can place our trust in. Such a person will use every remaining moment to practice the dharma and purify his mind. and you alone will have to face the deluded perceptions of your bad karma. Thinking that this life is a happy and stable condition is utter foolishness. When the time of death has come. all sentient beings have set forth on the path toward death. or highly realized. If death comes to everybody else. fighting and struggling. Text section 257: Life runs out like a pond cut off from its water supply. Everything that is born will die. as momentary as a lightning bolt in the night sky. We begin to run out of time from the moment of our birth. You might be surrounded by loving relatives and friends. Nobody returns from death. rich. no matter whether you are powerful. it will eventually also come to you. You alone will experience the successive dissolving of the elements [thim rim].280 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations will be given. Text section 258 / stanza 40: Stricken by disease. No wise person would place his trust in this fleeting life? Only fools do so. you might have the best doctors and nurses treating you. none of them will be able to help you.

are created by your own negative deeds and are personifications of your personal afflictions and habitual patterns. although you have received the proper teachings. which are nothing other than the manifestations of the wicked 144 ‘Ordinary beings’ [so so skye bo] are defined as ‘individualized beings’ because they move separately and distinctly from one another [tha dad so sor ’gro bas na so so’i skye bo zhes bya’o]. You are left without protection. the seven branches [yan lag bdun pa] and so forth . This individual perception cannot be transferred to another. the suffering is impossible to dispel.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 281 feel very helpless. Ordinary beings lack the capacity to remove the suffering of other ordinary beings and certainly cannot protect other sentient beings from any suffering at the moment of death. You breathe out for the last time. the suffering of the three lower realms. doctors and nurses try to help the best they can. Seeing no way out you feel totally desperate. Accumulating various forms of karma individually distinct from one another. . none of them can dispel your suffering or take your suffering upon themselves. you failed to make use of your fortunate situation and did not practice. someone habituated to negativity. It is too late. beings with human bodies and animal heads. When this time comes. Text section 259 / stanza 41: When you. Although your friends. These deluded perceptions of the intermediate state. Experiencing various frightening perceptions. One’s personal experience comes about through one’s own former deeds. will be able to help you now. Although you have met the dharma and qualified teachers. ordinary beings experience different fruitions of their actions. relatives. Now it is too late. you will experience terrifying visions of persecution and abuse by the Māra of Death and his henchmen. This stanza teaches that without overcoming your negative deeds and their fruitions through confession and dharma practice. Only the meritorious and virtuous karma [bsod nams dge ba’i las] that you might have acccumulated while still alive through the practices of going for refuge [skyabs su ’gro ba]. Your mind panics and you encounter the frightening apparitions of the intermediate state. the bardo. All ‘ordinary beings’ [so so skye bo]144 must experience their own individual karma [rang rang so so’i las so so myong dgos pa]. At the time of death only the dharma you have practiced will be of help. Your life is ending. Each being experiences his or her own personal happiness and suffering. they will emerge at that time. You are lying in your bed with just a tiny bit of life left in you. enter the intermediate state [bar do]. unable to breathe in again. keeping pure discipline [tshul khrims]. you will not know how to protect yourself nor will your relatives and friends be able to help you at this point. you will inevitably face their negative consequences. If your mind-stream is infested with negative thoughts and evil patterns.

Within that recognition all afflictions collapse. If he sees the afflictions arising in the mind of another. speech and mind still. thinking. What is the use of many (other forms of) disciplines? sems srung brtul zhugs ma gtogs pa brtul zhugs mang po ci zhig bya . The śrāvakas deal with afflictions in this manner. when great anger arises in your mind and you refrain from acting it out with body. You can remain like the trunk of a tree and keep your body. The power to smooth out all disharmonious circumstances is called merit [mi mthun pa’i phyogs thams cad ’jam thub pa zhig la bsod nams zer gi yod].” This is how bodhisattvas deal with afflicitions. Any of these different levels of practice can keep you from being overwhelmed when afflictions arise. love. and wisdom arises. he establishes the view of egolessness. “He is expressing his intense suffering through anger. this disharmonious situation. is called ‘merit’ [bsod nams]. Or. When anger arises in the mind of a bodhisattva. You can deal with your afflictions by not acting them out when they arise. Now you feel regret for failing to practice while you were still alive. You had the chance to help yourself by practicing the dharma. Or you can transform your negative emotions into positive qualities such as compassion. Practicing the dharma means overcoming your afflictions. Both Mahāyāna practitioners and practitioners of Secret Mantrayāna know that afflictions fundamentally lack existence [gzhi ma grub pa]. A practitioner of Secret Mantrayāna recognizes the buddha nature directly as the essence of any afflictions that arise. Now you understand that no external power can help you. you might even know how to recognize your buddha nature when afflictions arise in your mind. You understand that the dharma—the virtue and merit you accumulated—are your only refuge. you have the merit to overcome this anger. but just remain still like the trunk of a tree. How pitiful. The foremost task of a practitioner is to guard his mind against afflictions. letting them collapse within that recognition. That capacity. All these methods to overcome afflictions are called ‘merit’ if one can apply them. For instance. He does not know the horrible consequence of anger nor does he know how to control and overcome his anger. As it is said in stanza 18 of chapter five of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra: Except for the discipline of guarding one’s mind. he generates compassion. the force that prevents you from being overwhelmed by afflictions. Whatever method you have learned. devotion and so forth. kindness. speech or mind. once you have received Secret Mantrayāna teachings.282 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations deeds and negative patterns lying dormant in your mind. but you did not do it. you must practice as much as you can and remember it at all times and in all situations.

the terrors of the lower realms in the next life [phyi ma ngan songs gi ’jigs pa]. . you engaged in utterly pointless [snying po cung zad med pa] worldly activities. Your merit and virtue will then be able to protect you and grant you refuge at the time of death. II. they do not guarantee long-lasting satisfaction. In the end. they are easily lost. the horrors of the intermediate state after death [shi nas bar do’i ’jigs pa]. never thinking about the terrible consequences. Having achieved your worldly goals. you cry out “Protectors!” [mgon po]. For the duration of your short life. the six perfections and so forth. committing many wicked deeds for the sake of this transient life. prosperity ends in decline. Whatever you have achieved. With your three gates [sgo gsum]—body. You practice the seven branches [yan lag bdun pa]. the time when your dharma practice is put to the ultimate test. Once achieved. you find that they proved to be fruitless [’bras bu med]. and rise ends in fall [gang du skyes kyang / skyes pa’i mtha’ ’chi ba / ’dus pa’i mtha’ ’bral ba / ’byor ba’i mtha’ rgud pa / mtho ba’i mtha’ ltung ba]. as you are about to die. Text section 260 / stanza 42: Now. On top of all that. The end of hoarding is dispersal. speech and mind—you acted heedlessly. You had no faith of conviction in karma. you will lose it again. unaware of the consequences of your actions. the law of cause and effect [rgyu ’bras yid ches pa’i dad pa]. calling upon the buddhas and bodhisattvas in desperation as your place of refuge [skyabs gnas]. birth ends in death. You were unaware [ma ’tshal] that one suffering follows upon the next: first. then. You spent your life drinking sweet-tasting poison. Now you regret that you lived your life so heedlessly [bag med]. where you experience the suffering of being caught and led away by the henchmen of Yama [gshin rje’i pho nya]. The end of elevation is downfall. The four limitations imposed by impermanence [mi rtag mtha’ bzhi] are:145 The end of birth is death. You were ignorant about what to do and what to avoid. page 99: “Whereever one is born. bodhicitta. the fear of being severed from life at the moment of death [’chi kha gnad gcod kyi ’jigs pa]. You did not learn what is meant by virtue [dge ba] and non-virtue [mi dge ba]. and difficult to further [phel dka’]. difficult to protect [srung dka’]. all hardship without result [ngal ba ’bras med]. simply for this reason.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 283 You need to build up the meritorious capacity to be able to deal with your afflictions. 145 See also Gateway to Knowledge Vol. For insignificant aims you expended great effort. Worldly aims are difficult to achieve [thob dka’]. meeting ends in separation. it turns out to have been a pointless pursuit because everything falls under the power of impermanence [mi rtag pa]. and finally. The end of gathering is separation.

who are not our fellow humans. Literally. Since a person whose limbs are about to be amputated is already frightened to death. the Lord of Death. . His mouth will be gaping [kha gdang] and dry [kha skams]. being downtrodden. soiling oneself with excrement and urine. then how much more fear will he have facing the horrors of death? Criminals are led to the place of execution by their fellow humans. showing an expression of terror [bred sha thon pa]. eyes gaping. The same phrase has been also translated as ‘dreadful sunken eyes’. unable to control one’s bladder and intestines. While a criminal might be facing amputation of his hand. we will search the four quarters for any help or refuge. 147 Dictionary: ‘Showing an expression of fear’ [skrag pa’i nyams ’gyur thon pa / ’jigs pa’i rnam ’gyur thon pa]. which leads to blue lips. but at the moment of death we are led to the hell realms by the henchmen of Yama. we will be facing the horrifying visions of the intermediate state and will be plagued by utter despair. This blue color is called ‘cyanic’. Text sections 262-263 / stanza 44: Just as criminals are petrified by their imminent mutilation.146 The lustre will vanish from his face [bzhin mdangs nyams pa]. The demons [srin po. and ‘bulging eyes’. Stricken with the disease of great panic [’jig chen nad kyis thebs gyur pa] indicates that at the moment of death one will be totally petrified with fear. indicating that the eye has lost its power. and his glazed eyes cyanic blue [mig rtsa ngan pa gno che re]. eyes etc. when the expression in the eyes has become weak and pitiful [nyams chung]. fingers.147 in fear [skyi bung / ’jigs skrag] and despair. or ‘cyanic blue’ [ngo che re ba]. ‘lifeless eyes’. and he will keep his head down [mgo ’phang dma’ ba] in fear. rakṣa] mentioned here are ‘man-eating demons’ [mi za mkhan gyi srin po]. ‘glassy eyes’. we will be petrified when clasped by the frightful messengers of Yama. Western medicine explains the blue color on corpses as a death-related phenomenon caused by lack of oxygen. We will be in such a state of shock that we cannot even close our eyes if we 146 Glazed eyes [mig rtsa ngan pa] means a ‘miserable look in the eyes’ [nyam thag pa’i lta stangs]. the term means ‘the channel of the eye gone bad’ [mig rtsa ngan pa]. Text sections 264-265 / stanzas 45 and 46: In utter horror.284 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations skyes pa’i mtha’ ma ‘chi ba bsags pa’i mtha’ ma ‘dzad pa ‘dus pa’i mtha’ ma ‘bral ba mtho ba’i mtha’ ma lhung ba Text section 261 / stanza 43: A criminal being led away to be either mutilated or executed in public by order of the king will be petrified [bred par ’gyur te].

Searching the four quarters and seeing no one to help us. . Virūpākṣa [spyan mi bzang] is the great Guardian King of the west [nub phyogs skyong ba’i rgyal chen] and has a retinue of nāgas [klu]. and acting as a spiritual guide for one of the four quarters. ‘I go for refuge to the Buddha. the most perfect place to practice the dharma. Text section 266 / stanza 46 Each of the four great guardian kings [rgyal chen bzhi] resides on the fourth terrace of Mount Meru.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 285 want to.”148 Buddha showered the same compassion and blessing on Devadatta as on his own son Rāhula. I go for refuge to the saṃgha’. Many humans are completely ignorant 148 dad pa’i nyin byed. Devadatta cried out in desperation. Paralyzed by fear. We have met a sublime Buddhist master. and we have received the dharma. What can we do if no one can help us? Even the Buddha will be unable to offer help. Virūḍhaka protects those who have led virtuous lives from the Lord of Death. the avīcī hell. saying. Jambudvīpa [’dzam gling / ’dzam bu’i gling]. Buddha’s cousin. overlooking one of the four directions. We are in the fortunate position to be able to distinguish virtue and non-virtue. we have attained the best possible physical body. I am ablaze. Repeat this. we will become completely downtrodden and depressed [kun nas sems zhum zhing yi mug par ’gyur ro]. The south is also considered to be the direction of Yama. At one point in time the earth broke open and Devadatta went alive—in his very body—down to the lowest hell realm. But even the Buddha cannot place beings on the level of liberation if they do not practice the dharma. the domain of Virūḍhaka. he will remain there ‘only’ for one great aeon [bskal chen gcig]. Virūḍhaka [’phags skyes po] is the great Guardian King of the south [lho phyogs skyong ba’i rgyal chen] and has a retinue of kumbāṇḍhas [grul bum]. I burn. our eyes are staring cyanic blue [mig rtsa sngo cer re gcer zhing]. He had repeatedly committed extremely wicked deeds. Our practice of the dharma is our only refuge at the time of death. I go for refuge to the dharma. from the bottom of your heart pray. Since Devadatta took refuge to the three jewels as he went down to the avīcī hell. Vāiśravaṇa [rnam thos sras] is the great Guardian King of the north [byang phyogs skyong ba’i rgyal chen] and has a retinue of yakṣas [gnod sbyin]. Moreover. “Devadatta. therefore. After his karma in the avīcī hell is exhausted. Think about Devadatta. Our continent. he will eventually become a pratyekabuddha. through which we gained some understanding of what to do and what to avoid. is on the southern side of Mount Meru and is. the Lord of Death [gshin rje]. crimes without retribution. We have achieved a rebirth in Jambudvīpa. the human body endowed with the eight freedoms and ten advantages. “Gautama. Dhṛtarāṣṭa [yul ’khor srung] is the great Guardian King of the east [shar phyogs skyong ba’i rgyal chen] and has a retinue of gandharvas [dri za]. pages 504-510. I am consumed by fire!” Even Buddha himslef could do no more than teach him the dharma.

Feel in your heart that you have done wrong. imagine clearly that you are going to the three lower realms. With a mind filled with immense sadness. you will discover that you lack virtue and are overloaded with abundant negativities.” Your eyes will fill with tears. prisoners spend many years incarcerated without making spiritual progress. that you have been really mistaken in committing all these negative deeds with body. your breathing will become shaky and your legs and arms will tremble. Thus. I will not fare well. . Nor is staying in a retreat cell for a long time impressive in itself. Remembering all the harm you have inflicted on other beings—your parents. In order to progress you must mingle the dharma with your mind. Remember all your negative mind-sets and feel true regret and shame about them. “Alas. relatives. we are unfortunate persons [skal chad po]. Experience the entire sequence of the moment of death—being fetched by the henchmen of the Lord of Death. Meditate how it will be when you are about to die if you have not practiced the dharma. as well as animals. Visualize yourself as an evil-doer who is about to die. Evoke all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. You will think. Remembering all your wicked deeds. the buddhas and bodhisattvas have absolved me. insects and so on—and weighing your virtue and non-virtue at the moment of death. Once you understand the devastating consequences of wrong-doing. “Wouldn’t it be better to practice now the dharma that will help me at the moment of death?” Meditate until you feel the pain and anguish of the death experience. Even if you are a yogin living in a cave. entering the bardo. you will cover your chest with scratch marks. “I have confessed my misdeeds. and I have promised to refrain from repeating the same negative actions. Now they have been purified. you face will turn bright blue.” You need to know the proper way of practicing [sgrub stangs] the dharma. Therefore. This thought is extremely important. wild animals live in the wilderness all their lives without attaining enlightenment. the law of cause and effect.286 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations about good and evil. we did not practice the dharma but instead committed negative deeds. I have failed. offer your heartfelt confession to them and ask for forgiveness. Contemplations like this that bring such experiences about are called ‘guidance into experience’ [myong khrid]. speech and mind. you will begin the great journey into your next life. friends and enemies. Until you truly experience the suffering of dying through your meditation practice. These teachings by Śāntideva and Paltrül Rinpoche must be practiced as meditation instructions on mindtraining [blo sbyong]. you cannot practice the dharma well. In spite of all these perfect conditions. having no idea about karma. Spend a few minutes every day offering confession in this way. bring all this to mind. As a practitioner. imagine the buddhas and bodhisattvas granting you absolution and think that your misdeeds are now purified. cut off from the chance to gather merit. you will actively remedy them through confession and dharma practice. and finally taking rebirth in one of the three lower realms. At the end. consider over and over again. this is nothing special. Conclude with the thought.

the law of cause and effect [las rgyu ’bras]. at the most neither will reach more than one hundred years of age. though heavy. Therefore. As it is said: Wickedness committed by the wise. will be light. even practitioners must sustain themselves. On what basis do you have the confidence that you will not die today? . but is very difficult to practice. though minor. having covered your basic needs. Both the eightyyears-old and an infant less than a year are destined to die. look for nothing further but dedicate yourself completely to practice. From moment to moment your life is getting shorter like an animal being dragged to slaughter. do not place your trust in this life. Text sections 267-268 / stanza 46: Understand three things: 1) you will certainly die. These four contemplations turn your mind away from clinging to saṃsāra as something meaningful. you have developed true renunciation [nges ’byung]. Wickedness committed by the foolish. and waste your time with worldly activities. knowing how to practice properly is more important than practicing intensely without knowledge [sgrub pa las sgrub stangs de gtso che gi red]. mkhas pa’i sdig pa che na’ang yangs blun po’i sdig pa chung’ang chen Treat every day as if it were your last. Such dedication only arises if you have truly internalized the four contemplations that transform your mind [blo ldog rnam pa bzhi]: (1) contemplation on the difficulty of obtaining the freedoms and advantages [dal ’byor rnyed par dka’ ba]. 2) The time of death is uncertain [nam ‘chi nges pa med pa]. place and circumstances of your death are uncertain. 1) You will certainly die [nges par ‘chi ba]. The time.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 287 A person who knows how to practice the dharma has the methods needed to purify his wicked deeds and negativity. dropping out of ordinary life and spending your remaining time in contemplation and meditation. This—the real teaching of the Buddha—is totally contrary to worldly life and means giving up all worldly activities. This seems easy to grasp but the certainty of death is not readily taken to heart. Life is running out like the sun is setting in the west. Once you have deeply understood in your heart that all saṃsāric activities are pointless. (2) contemplation on impermanence [tshe mi rtag pa]. Despite your youth and good health there is no guarantee you will not die soon. However. Therefore. Of course. (3) contemplation on the defects of saṃsāra [’khor ba’i nyes dmigs] and (4) contemplation on karma. while people unlearned in the dharma lack that knowledge. will be grave. It is a natural law that whatever is born must die. This sounds easy. 2) the time of death is uncertain and 3) at the time of death nothing but the dharma can help you.

Nor will your riches. the lifespan of beings in Jambudvīpa is uncertain. friends and riches. You cannot be sure when the butter lamp will run out of butter—today. your resort [gnas]. friends and beloved ones. 3) At the time of death nothing can help you [‘chi ba’i dus gang gis mi phan pa]. you alone will carry the burden of your negative deeds. the six transcendental perfections and so forth. tomorrow.” Text section 269: The power of the support [rten gyi stobs] has two interpretations: 1) the supporting object for making confessions [bshags par bya ba’i yul gyi rten] and 2) the support through which to purify negative deeds [sdig pa dag bya’i rten]. When your lifespan is finished. or in the latter half of the month. yet unable to care for them any longer.288 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations You could only develop such confidence if the omniscient Buddha prophesied a certain length of life for you. and your lamp [sgron me]. “I will not come to take you with me for such and such a period of time. From now on. Only the sublime dharma will be of use to you at the time of death. Only the sublime dharma will be of benefit to you. Make the firm commitment. The Medicine Buddha himself has no medicine that prevents death. Neither your parents. Thus. Contemplate this repeatedly from the depth of your heart. your relatives. you might still die prematurely. the Buddha of Longevity. Yet the negative deeds you accumulated for the sake of your relatives and friends cannot be divided and shared with anyone else. I willl abstain from committing any acts of non-virtue. Unable to let go of your relatives. your vision [snang ba]. The distance of an arrow shot depends on the pulling power of the archer. Such confidence could also arise if you had a meeting with the Lord of Death on a good day. no matter with whom you associate. your island [gling]. no matter where you are. No matter how much wealth and riches you possess. you will die. and he told you. has no power to extend your life indefinitely. nor anyone else will benefit you in any way. and the duration of a butter lamp depends on the amount of butter. Death will find you. Even Amitayus.” The duration [‘phen pa] of this life is like an arrow or like a butter lamp. just as a butter lamp is easily extinguished by the wind. In this context. Although death caused by sudden circumstances can sometimes be prevented through rituals and the practice of virtue. naked and alone. “From now on I will exert myself exclusively in virtuous activities such as the practice of refuge. your support [dpung gnyen]. when the time comes you will embark on the great journey into the next life. create now the causes for dying without fear and regret. you will die. your refuge [skyabs]. instead. in the first half of the month. The time of your death is similarly uncertain. Therefore. you cannot buy off death. Your relatives will divide and share your wealth and you will take not so much as a needle. Only the dharma can be your protector [mgon po]. bodhicitta. the . Since even Vajrapani cannot protect you. or if you had undefiled higher perceptions that allowed you to know with certainty that you would not die for a set period of time.

Text section 270 / stanza 47: Driven by fear of taking rebirth in the three lower realms. Buddha is called the Victor because he is victorious over the enemy of the four māras Having liberated himself from all fears. the dharma and the saṃgha of the bodhisattvas. We rely on the three jewels as a support for purifying our wrongdoings.150 The Buddha is the unexcelled refuge [skyabs bla na 149 For further details see dad pa’i nyin byed. The buddhas and bodhisattvas.149 Text section 273 / stanza 47: The ten powers are qualities of Buddha’s mind [thugs kyi yon tan]. The three jewels are the objects of refuge [skyabs yul] and also the support for confessing negativities [sdig pa bshags pa’i rten]. Since he is a place of trust [yid brtan pa’i gnas] for all sentient beings. pages 528-531. We seek refuge in the Buddha. [bdud bzhi’i dgra las rgyal bas rgyal ba]. From the first moment of receiving teachings on how to practice the sublime dharma until the attainment of complete enlightenment. . Only a buddha is endowed with these ten powers. wisdom. who are endowed with inconceivable qualities. In the phrase all beings equal to the reaches of space [nam mkha’ dang mnyam pa’i ’gro ba thams cad].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 289 power of support refers to the second interpretation. he is called the protector of all beings [’gro ba ma lus pa’i mgon po]. pages 451-452. from now on we take refuge to the three jewels. constantly help and care for others. 150 For a detailed explanation of the ten powers of the Tathāgata [de bzhin gshegs pa’i stobs bcu] see Khenpo Chöga’s commentary in text sections 56-61 of the first chapter of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. the support that functions as an object for purifying negative deeds. or an example of something beyond measure [tshad med pa’i dpe]. Text sections 271-272 / stanza 47 The Śilākṣipta-sūtra recounts the story when Buddha went to Kuśinagara and five hundred Mallas from Pāpā [sdig pa can] were cleaning the road for him. sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. Text section 200 already described the power of the support as an object for confession [bshags yul]. the term ‘space’ is an example of something beyond count [grangs las ’das pa’i dpe]. we go for refuge. the Buddha has the capacity to protect others from their personal fears. an example of something beyond boundaries [mtha’ yas pa’i dpe]. This is the main topic of stanzas 47 and 48. To these sublime objects we go for refuge. knowledge and supernatural powers.

contemplation and meditation. This is the knowledge of contemplation [bsam pa’i shes rab]. When the teacher is expounding the dharma to the student. Only then will one be able to annihilate one’s own afflictions and suffering. contemplation and meditation [thos bsam bsgom gsum ’dres mar byed dgos]. They might have gained heartfelt certainty in all the teachings. One begins to see the truth of the dharma [bden pa mthong]. but if they are unable to liberate their afflictions they nevertheless carry the seeds of the lower realms in their mind-streams. the practice tradition teaches: Theoretical understanding wears out like patches. the recognition of buddha nature. stanza 47 presents the jewel of the buddha [sangs rgyas dkon mchog]. Text section 275 / stanza 48 A beginning bodhisattva must engage in study. Once meditation has been well perfected. But realization remains unchanging like space. Text section 274 / stanza 47 The term superficial people [skye bo mdo shor ba] refers to ‘those who do what is unimportant’ [gal chung chung las] and thus ‘lose what is important’ [gal chen po shor ’gro mkhan]. it also dissipates easily. practicing analytic meditation [dpyod bsgom]. his teaching style need not be eloquent [tshig sgros snyan snyan] and full of scriptural quotations. Sometimes his old habitual patterns of afflictions come through and cloud his mind. a knowledge that has realized egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab]. While teaching. Therefore. he must apply what he teaches to his own mind. He should focus primarily on the meaning rather than on impressive language. This is utterly normal as long as the . Scholars [mkhas pa] who have gone only this far in their dharma practice might still take rebirth in the hell realms. Experiences fade away like haze. Although the knowledge of study [thos pa’i shes rab] comes easily. Applying the dharma while teaching is called meditation. A beginning bodhisattva tries to develop bodhicitta to the best of his ability. or ‘those who have lost the main point’ [gnad ’gag shor ’gro mkhan]. the view [lta ba]. go ba lhan pa ’dra ste khog nas ’gro nyams na bun ’dra ste yal nas ’gro rtogs pa nam mkha’ ’dra ste ’gyur ba med To really practice the dharma properly. one will attain realization [rtogs pa]. Thus. The knowledge of the dharma must be practiced in meditation. we must alternate between study. however. If one contemplates the knowledge of study. Even such certainty about the dharma cannot eradicate one’s own suffering. one will gain certainty [nges shes] about the dharma. Yet at times he forgets his noble motivations.290 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations med pa] since he can eradicate all fear and suffering.

Since emptiness is free from arising. Therefore. to the degree one’s own suffering is overcome. Text section 276 / stanza 48: After the Buddha had reached complete and perfect enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree [byang chub shing gi dbang po]. sitting on the Vajra Seat [skr. Since emptiness is non-dual [gnyis su med pa]. a beginning bodhisattva should always strive to never be separated for long from bodhicitta.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 291 bodhisattva is an ‘ordinary being bodhisattva’ [so so skye bo byang chub sems dpa’]. kleśāvaraṇa] and the obscuration of cognition [shes bya’i sgrib pa. it is peaceful [zhi ba]. and to dedicate the merit of his dharma practice. The main activity of a beginning bodhisattva is to develop bodhicitta. luminous and uncompounded. buddha nature. When one’s own mind is liberated through realization [rtogs pas bdag grol]. it is luminous [’od gsal ba]. to make aspirations for all sentient beings. free from complexity. Since emptiness is immaculate knowledge [dri ma med pa’i mkhyen pa]. it is uncompounded [’dus ma byas]. peaceful. skr. it will not be understood. I will remain in the forest without teaching. zab zhi spros bral ’od gsal ’dus ma byas bdud rtsi lta bu’i chos zhig bdag gis rnyed bdag gis bstan kyang go bar mi ’gyur pas mi smra nags ’dabs nyid du gnas par bya Buddha had realized profound emptiness [zab mo stong pa nyid]. It is called profound [zab pa] because it is not within the domain of worldly meditation [’jig rten pa’i bsgom pa’i yul ma yin] and is beyond all worldly concepts [’jig rten pa’i blo las ’das pa]. the state of wisdom [ye shes]. to practice the six perfections. while observing all precepts and trying his best to help others with a pure motivation. still feels that he is of no help at all. Since emptiness is free from all thoughts [rtog pa med pa]. the obscuration of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i sgrib pa. jñeyāvaraṇa]. he spoke: I have found a nectar-like dharma Which is profound. However. it is without complexity [spros bral]. ceasing and abiding [skye dgag gnas gsum dang bral ba]. To whomever I teach it. To the extent one progresses in one’s practice. vajrāsana] at Bodhgaya. At that point keep in mind that even a buddha cannot help all sentient beings. to that extent one will be able to benefit others. Text section 277 / stanza 48: . At times a bodhisattva. one will be able to liberate others through compassion [thugs rjes gzhan grol]. It is a knowledge free from the stains [dri ma] of the two obscurations.

. Those who have realized the wisdom of egolessness [bdag med rtogs pa’i shes rab mngon du gyur mkhan] are called ‘noble beings’ [’phags pa]. with the first two lines of stanza 48. The dharma he has taught is comprised of the dharma of statements [lung gi chos] and the dharma of realization [rtogs pa’i chos]. tshigs bcad gcig gi don shes na de ni lung gi bstan pa yin dge sems skad cig skyes pa na de ni rtogs pa’i bstan pa yin. with the second two lines of stanza 48. If we call upon the buddhas and bodhisattvas it must be with sincerity. If one gives rise to a virtuous mindset for just one instant. 2) the training in samādhi [ting nge ’dzin gyi bslab pa] and 3) the training in knowledge [shes rab kyi bslab pa]. one should not call upon the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Therefore. These bodhisattvas cannot return to the delusion of ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. should we call upon them for help. This constitutes the doctrine of statements. who is said to be the embodiment of the wisdom of the buddhas [ye shes kyi rang gzugs]. The dharma of statements is to understand what is meant by a noble mindset [bsam pa bzang po] and the dharma of realization is to give birth to a noble mindset. Text section 278 / stanza 49: Frightened by the three kinds of suffering. This constitutes the doctrine of realization. who is said to be the embodiment of the aspirations of all the buddhas [smon lam gyi rang gzugs]. Lacking such genuine fear. Śāntideva has presented the jewel of the saṃgha [dge ’dun dkon mchog]. I offer myself to Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. Therefore. I also offer my body to Mañjughoṣa [’jam pa’i dbyangs]. Only when we sincerely wish to eliminate our negative deeds. He is one of the eight senior sons [sras kyi thu bo brgyad] of the Buddha. if we are truly frightened by the consequences of our former karma. which are nothing other than the ripening of my own wicked deeds.292 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Buddha has realized [thugs su chud pa] or understood [thugs su mkhyen pa] all dharmas. This realization begins on the first bodhisattva level. Thus. the ‘dharma of profound emptiness’ [zab pa stong pa nyid gyi chos] and the ‘vast dharma of the levels and paths’ [rgya che ba sa dang lam gyi chos]. which corresponds to the path of seeing [mthong lam]. the simplest way of defining the teaching of the Buddha is to say it is a noble mindset. The ‘dharma of statements’ refers to the statements of the tripiṭaka [lung sde snod gsum]. Śāntideva has shown the jewel of the dharma [chos dkon mchog]. Thus. the assembly of the bodhisattvas [byang chub sems pa’i tshogs] is called the noble saṃgha of nonreturners [’phags pa phyir mi ldog pa’i dge ’dun]. one of the eight great bodhisattvas. If one grasps the meaning of just one stanza. which are: 1) the training in discipline [tshul khrims kyi bslab pa]. and the ‘dharma of realization’ is the path of the three precious trainings [rtogs pa’i chos lam bslab pa gsum].

Among them. sowing discord [phra ma byed pa]. You must understand that saṃsāra is created by your own thoughts. the great evildoer! Please grant me refuge from my fear that I will go to the three lower realms the very moment I die. Four are committed by means of speech: speaking lies [rdzun smra ba]. no buddha would ever become disappointed with any sentient being. taking what is not given [ma byin par len pa]. Not even for a single moment is there any interruption or bias to the unlimited compassion of the Buddha. sangs rgyas rnams ni byams thugs ldan sems can rnams la smod mi mdzad Text section 279 / stanza 50: Text sections 279 through 281 explain the special qualities of Bodhisattva Avalokita [spyan ras gzigs] or Avalokiteśvara [spyan ras gzigs dbang phyug]. letting out a great wailing [pho chen po btab ste] or letting out a strong lamentation with mournful crying [nyams thag ngo ros ’o dod drag pos ’bod pa]: “Please help me. Three are committed through mind: covetousness [rnab sems]. Thoughts spring from ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. cry out to Avalokiteśvara. harsh words [tshig rtsub] and worthless chatter [ngag kyal]. Ego- 151 Dictionary: attachment to egotistical-interests / selfish interests / self-centered interests / self-centered aims [‘khri ba means zhen chags or chags pa]. As it is said in the sūtras: The buddhas are endowed with a loving mind. and sexual misconduct [log g. From the depth of your heart. also called ‘the one who never closes his eyes’ [mig mi ’dzum pa]. From the time he first developed bodhicitta he has striven exclusively for the benefit of others. Avalokiteśvara. three are committed through the body: taking life [srog gcod pa]. . wishing harm to others [gnod sems] and wrong views [log lta]. speech and mind. however.yem]. is the personification of Buddha’s compassion [snying rje’i rang gzugs].151 Text section 280 / stanza 50: The Buddha gazes constantly on all sentient beings. They are never upset with sentient beings. without even the slighest trace of attachment to self-centered interests [rang ’dod kyi ’khri ba]. holding on to the dichotomy of ‘I’ and ‘others’. With his great compassion he ceaselessly guards and cares for sentient beings day and night.” Text section 281-282 / stanza 50: I have committed the ten non-virtuous actions with my body. In reality.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 293 Khenpo Kunpal’s intention to teach skillfully sometimes leads to phrases like the mind of the buddhas would be disappointed [de dag gi thugs kyang khrel bar ’gyur ro].

acknowledge your negative deeds and bad actions for what they are and confess them.152 A real monk [btsun pa]153 is 152 Dictionary: nyon mongs ’chol nyog tu spyod pa means nyon mongs gang byung mang byung du spyod pa 153 Dictionary: btsun pa means grva pa or bande. btsun pa has the connotation of clean [gtsang ma]. thereby accumulating karma. going for the protection of Avalokiteśvara in this manner purifies negative deeds and accumulates virtue. he must immediately confess them to Bodhisattva Ākāśagarbha. speech and mind. Our negative actions have led us into perpetual [rgya ’byams]. The moment you hold on to an ‘I’ you have created the ‘other’. A mere imitation of a monk [btsun gzugs] is someone who looks or dresses like a monk [grva pa] but who does not behave like one.294 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations clinging is based on ignorance [ma rig pa]. and should keep them even at the cost of his life. A beginning bodhisattva must learn what the bodhisattva precepts are. Whoever observes the precpets of individual liberation. The Ākāśagarbha-sūtra [nam mkha’i snying po’i mdo] says that a beginning bodhisattva should call out to the Bodhisattva Ākāśagarbha every morning at dawn. one should offer prostrations and present offerings to him. Someone who does not observe at least the ten virtuous actions is considered unclean [btsog pa] in body speech and mind. “Please protect me. In general. Thus. Based on ignorance you give rise to afflictions. Ākāśagarbha is the one who especially cares for the beginning bodhisattvas who have committed any downfalls in their bodhisattva precepts. you will inevitably have to endure the consequences of your actions. primarily ignorance [ma rig pa]. he commits any of the downfalls [ltung ba] or root downfalls [rtsa ltung]. the precepts of the bodhisattvas or the samayas of Secret Mantra is clean in body. . Cry out with a lamenting voice. Ākāśagarbha [nam mkha’i snying po] is considered the personification of the Buddha’s blessings [byin rlabs kyi rang gzugs]. Therefore. Once karma has been created and accumulated. however. rather acting as someone who enacts all kinds of afflictions [nyon mongs ’chol nyog tu spyod pa]. If. setting in motion the endless chain of labeling everything as belonging to ‘me’ or to ‘others’. Use all these buddhas and bodhisattvas as the support to confess and purify your wicked deeds. Therefore. Among the eight great bodhisattvas. the most wicked one!” Cry out with strong devotion to Avalokiteśvara for help so that he may grant you protection. thoughts [rnam rtog]. clean in regard to the conduct of body. Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha [sa yi snying po] is considered the personification of the Buddha’s merit [bsod nams rang gzugs] and he especially cares for those monks and fully ordained monks who have broken or lost their precepts because they were overwhelmed by too many afflictions. Text section 283 / stanza 51: Generally. are called the great demon [gdon chen]. Taking refuge. continuous [rgyun chad med pa] or endless [mtha’ med pa] delusion. speech and mind.

Look upon me with kindness and compassion.” Text section 284 / stanza 52: The glorious Guhyapati [dpal gsang ba’i bdag po]. All you need do is call upon them. speech and mind. When Khenpo Kunpal says Vajrapāṇi is guarding or looking out [mel tshe byed pa] for all the buddhas. Please protect me from my bad karma. look upon me. “Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions. attained enlightenment and set the wheel of dharma in motion until they finally entered into nirvāṇa. The countless buddhas and bodhisattvas have the aspiration and the compassion to help you. He is able to hear and retain the complete teachings of every buddha in their entirety. From the depth of my heart I cry out to you in lamentation. to grant you refuge. Please purify the evil deeds that I have accumulated since beginningless time. asking them to help you. the henchmen of Yama. What this actually means is that Buddha destroys sentient being’s wrong concepts [rtog pa ngan pa]. The one thousand buddhas and their two assistants are called the ’one thousand and two’ [stong rtsa gnyis].Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 295 someone who is peaceful and tame in his conduct of body. the miserable evildoer. To cry out in lamentation [’o dod bod pa] means to cry out loudly. They also have the capability to do so. Vajrapāṇi acted as their bodyguard [sku srung]. and enable me to purify my evil karma. cry out to them and ask for their help. Text section 285 / stanza 52: The sūtras report that each of the one thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon will have two assistants. speech and mind [sgo gsum gyi kun spyod zhi zhing dul ba] and who has abandoned all negative conduct. it means he is personifying the self-protecting power of the buddhas. The Buddha would never cause any sentient being to be harmed. are all epithets of Bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. come after me with minds as hateful as if I were the red-handed killer of their fathers [pha bsad kyi lag dmar ltar]. from lifetime to lifetime. his mind full of anger and aggression. and Vajrī. . who will always preserve and protect the complete teachings of the thousand buddhas [sangs rgyas stong gi bka’ sdus ba po]. Furthermore. the Lord of Secrecy. the Lord of Death. Just as the son of an enemy whom I have killed will come after me to take revenge. who requests each of the thousand buddhas to turn the wheel of dharma. You also call upon Maitreya and all the other great bodhisattvas of the tenth level. the ‘one who has a vajra’ [rdo rje can]. Buddha’s power splits the head of ego-clinging [bdag dzin gyi mgo ’gem par mdzad pa] into one hundred pieces. the sūtras relate that from the moment the buddhas of the three times first developed bodhicitta. The first assistant is the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje]. The second assistant is the god Brahmā [tshangs pa]. Buddhist mythology relates that Vajrapāṇi splits into a hundred pieces the heads of all demonic ones [ma rungs ba] who cause any harm to Buddha’s body.

a yidam [yi dam]. For a recitation retreat of a peaceful deity. This could be any one of the bodhisattvas. As a yakṣa. In addition. the standard should depict Vajrapani with the ‘four great guardian kings’ [rgyal chen rigs bzhi] or a flaming Tibetan letter HUNG on a lotus. retreatants [mtshams pa] even now begin their retreats by practicing the recitation and meditation on Vajrapāṇi in order to remove all obstacles. Text section 287 / stanza 52: A Mahāyāna practitioner should rely on a meditation deity.296 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Since protective powers are ascribed to Vajrapāṇi. As human beings we each have a birth divinity [lhan skyes kyi lha] and a ‘birth demon’ [lhan skyes kyi ’dre] who accompany us from the time of birth. such as the Lords of the Three Families [rigs gsum mgon po]—Mañjuśrī. moon and sun seat. Thus. As all the eight great bodhisattvas are personifications of Buddha’s qualities. The birth divinity is the personification of one’s merit [bsod nams kyi rang gzugs kyi lha]. According to the extraordinary Secret Mantra. as the lord of all inconceivable secrets of their body. he is also called Yakṣa Vajrapāṇi [snod sbyin lag na rdo rje]. while undertaking many negative deeds strengthens the birth demon. Text section 286 / stanza 52: Vajrapāṇi’s residence on the northern side of Mount Meru is called Aṭakāvatī [lcang lo can]. A practitioner should receive the empowerment for that meditation deity from a qualified master. and the birth demon is the personification of one’s negative deeds [sdig pa’i rang gzugs kyi lha]. he is the one who holds all teachings of Secret Mantra [gsang sngags kyi chos thams cad bzung mkhan]. signifying that he holds all the secret instructions [man ngag] and tantras [rgyud] of body. There he is surrounded by hosts of yakṣas [snod sbyin]. In particular. he is called Guhyaka. when they enter into a recitation retreat of a wrathful deity. even practicing the recitation and meditation of a particular meditation deity will not bring any results. speech and mind. moon and sun seat or a picture of the four guardian kings alone. and he is the ‘compiler of all tantras’ [rgyud thams cad kyi bka’ sdus ba po]. Vajrapāṇi protects and follows the buddhas and bodhisattvas like a birth divinity. As a symbol of that empowerment [dbang rtags] he holds a vajra. Without having received the empowerment. the ‘Secretive One’ [gsang ba pa]. one needs detailed instructions on how to meditate on that deity and how to perform the recitation of the particular mantra. When moving into retreat. Avalokiteśvara and Vajrapāṇi—or any other male or female buddha or bodhisattva one feels devotion to. . the standard should depict a five-pronged vajra on a lotus. they remain at all times inseparable from him. Since he is Lord of the Yakṣas. Practicing considerable virtue [dge ba] strengthens the birth divinity. retreatants set up the ‘standard of the kings’ [rgyal tho] next to the door outside their retreat hut. speech and mind of all the buddhas. the buddhas empowered [dbang bskur] and authorized [mnga’ gsol] Vajrapāṇi as the personification of the vajra mind of all victors [rgyal ba thams cad kyi thugs rdo rje’i rang gzugs].

it will appear either in person. Text section 288 / stanza 53: Now. You supplicate the buddhas and bodhisattvas. it will manifest at the time of death and guide you through the experience of death and the intermediate state. “Please consider me with your compassion so that I will be able to liberate myself from all the negative deeds that I have committed in this and all former lifetimes. The chapters on heedfulness [bag yod]. then one may designate Buddha Śākyamuni as the guru practice [bla ma]. One single yidam deity is sufficient [lha gcig chog ma]. All we need do is call out to them. the intermediate state and the lower realms in your next life ahead of you. Avalokiteśvara or Vajrapāṇi as the yidam practice [yi dam]. you see the great horrors of the moment of death.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 297 If you practice diligently the meditation and recitation of your yidam deity. You check to see whether your conduct is noble [bzang po] or reprehensible [ngan pa]. checking one’s responses to any given situation. bodhisattvas and arhats have promised to help us sentient beings. and Tārā as the ḍākinī practice [mkha’ ’gro].” Calling upon the Buddha. Text sections 289-290: The power of the applied antidote [gnyen po kun tu spyod pa’i stobs] is the power of actually practicing or relying on an antidote. This instruction is called ‘recollecting the meditation deity’ [yi dam rjes su dran pa] and is a crucial instruction within the teachings on bardo. leading you to liberation. in a vision or in a dream. introspection [shes bzhin] and patience [bzod pa]—the fourth. ‘Heedfulness’ means to be careful about what to do and what to avoid [blang dor gyi gnas la gzab gzab byed pa]. Understand that your yidam incorporates all buddhas and bodhisattvas. the intermediate state. If a sūtra practitioner prefers a more elaborate practice style. go with regret in your heart for refuge to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. ‘Introspection’ [shes bzhin] means analyzing oneself. Do not think that when you practice Vajrapāṇi as your main yidam you are neglecting Mañjuśrī. ‘Patience’ is considered the greatest austerity [dka’ thub] for a practitioner. A meditation in which all buddhas are embodied in one single meditation deity is called the ‘tradition that incorporates all jewels’ [kun ’dus nor bu lugs]. You check to see whether or not your behavior is in accord with dharma. either Mañjuśrī. Realizing that you were wasting your life when you ignored the instructions and teachings [bsgo zhing bka’ stsal ba las ’das pa] of the buddhas and bodhisattvas to practice virtue and avoid non-virtue. fifth and sixth chapters of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra—teach in detail how to apply the antidote to one’s negativity. Once you have met the deity. the eight great bodhisattvas and the sixteen arhats so that they liberate you from your bad karma is called ‘the power of the support’ [rten gyi stobs]. Consider this single meditation deity to be the essence of all buddhas and bodhisattvas. and you take refuge to the buddhas and bodhisattvas with heartfelt conviction. The Buddha. .

This main part is the actual practice of confession endowed with the four powers. any thought. your mind is the most important factor. the main part [dngos gzhi] and the concluding part [rjes]. is therefore said to be the correct view for a worldly person [’jig rten pa’i yang dag pa’i lta ba]. If you reduce them to mere physical exercises or lip service. Understand that when you undertake purification practices such as confession. You yourself have committed them. you will no longer waste your time with useless activities but will only practice the dharma. you ask for forgiveness. you will not understand the consequences of your negative deeds or the need to purify them. Feeling remorse. The main part [dngos gzhi]: You recall all your negative deeds. Body and voice are merely the tools. In this context. You must do this for yourself. If you lack understanding of the law of cause and effect. . and that it was wrong. the antidote for aggression [zhe sdang] is the practice of kindness [byams pa] and so forth. the law of cause and effect. and your body and speech carry them out. Any thought. and you yourself need to purify them. Only by reflecting on impermanence will you understand the fragile and fleeting nature of your present existence. they do not work. and develop regret for them. and you will not understand why practicing goodness is so important. offerings and so forth. Without a heartfelt understanding of impermanence. how do you actually confess your evil deeds? The method of counteracting negativity and its cause is called the ‘power of the applied antidote’. Having truly understood impermanence. Your mind creates positive and negative intentions. The practice of the power of the antidote for negative deeds consists of three parts: the preparatory part [sbyor ba]. A heartfelt understanding of karma. word or action deriving from a harmful or negative intention is called a negative deed [sdig pa] or non-virtuous action [mi dge ba]. On a gross level. prostrations. All your positive and negative deeds are created by yourself. The preparatory part [sbyor ba]: First of all you should repeatedly reflect on karma. You need to gain conviction and confidence [nges shes] in these. emotion. word or action springing from a beneficial and helpful attitude is called a virtuous action [dge ba]. You need to develop the power of the applied antidote in order to purify your mind from the stains of your negative deeds. Someone who has understood the law of cause and effect will naturally [rang shugs] practice goodness and avoid wrong-doing. the law of cause and effect. no one else can purify your wicked deeds. you will not appreciate the need to practice confession right away. You feel no joy about your wrongdoing but only regret. You distance yourself from from your former actions. He will never go to the three lower realms but will proceed from happy state to happy state. emotion. you acknowledge what you have done. and on impermanence. Bringing all of your negativity out in the open. it is mainly your mental attitude that renders such practices beneficial.298 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Stanzas 54-65 teach the antidote to one’s wicked deeds in the framework of confession. Just as an antidote for sickness is medicine.

earnestly recollect and confess your negativity. In the main part. and confess. A mere life of virtue does not automatically purify former negativity. main and concluding parts of confession practice. and pray that they may be purified. sexual misconduct. Finally. you formulate the strong and unshakeable resolve not repeat these negative actions and patterns in the future. This instruction is especially important for beginners. When any practice of virtue is embraced by the preparatory. which will still ripen unless confessed. should still continue to practice by means of defiling virtue [zag bcas kyi dge ba]. Imagine that light rays are emitted by the buddhas and bodhisattvas and purify your wrong-doing like the morning sun evaporates dew. you confess to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Unless you confess them. the practice of virtue. In both traditions. In this way apply the preparatory. such as refraining from killing. such as getting angry at a mouse that ate your retreat provisions. main and concluding parts of your practice to the elimination of negativity. the recognition of buddha nature. . In conclusion. dedicate the merit of your practice for the purpose of purifying your negative deeds. taking intoxicants and so forth. While recalling your misdeeds you must also practice virtue [sdig pa la dmigs nas dge ba sgrub dgos]. however. who are not able to practice nondefiling virtue [zag med pa’i dge ba]. ’Defiling virtue’ [zag bcas kyi dge ba] is a virtuous deed. Even those who have glimpses of buddha nature. you must make the resolve not to repeat your negative actions. think that you are purifying the wicked deeds of both yourself and all sentient beings. bring all your misdeeds out in the open. stealing. As this is a Mahāyāna practice. In the sūtra tradition. At best. you would still need to confess these tiny misdeeds. lying. and imagine a stream of pure nectar pouring down. you should then rest in the primordially pure essence [ngo bo ye dag]. Develop the strong confidence that your negative deeds have been completely purified. staying in retreat will purify one’s negativities. after you have completed your confession. you need to develop the confidence that your evil deeds have been truly purified. the main part and the concluding part. The real antidote to negative deeds is. In the tantra tradition. Visualize the object of confession. as explained above.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 299 The concluding part: You dedicate all the merit accumulated in this and all former lifetimes in order to purify your negative deeds. the buddhas and bodhisattvas. While in the sūtra tradition. washing away all your negativity. ‘Non-defiling virtue’ [zag med gyi dge ba] is a virtuous deed embraced by absolute bodhicitta [don dam sems bskyed]. not embraced by conventional or absolute bodhicitta. practice all virtue with the intention of confessing your wicked deeds. in the tantra tradition you apply visualizations [dmigs pa]. Text sections 291: Even if you spent your entire life in retreat and committed only very minor mistakes. Moreover. In the preparatory part. you visualize Vajrasattva above your head. the antidote to your evil deeds consists of the preparatory part. you will eventually experience their fruition.

we would still have to experience the fruition of our previous actions.e. who attained the rainbow body. while bringing each of his wrongdoings to mind. Your state of mind at the very instant of death determines your next rebirth. To prevent this from happening. virtue that is not embraced by either conventional or absolute bodhicitta. practicing virtue. To purify his negative karma. the first bodhisattva level cannot be attained. he had him carve a mani stone for every sentient being he had killed. Once we have become arhats or bodhisattvas dwelling on the bodhisattva levels.300 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations The famous practitioner Sonam Namgyal [bsod nams rnam rgyal]. his teacher. he received the teachings on ‘Cutting Through’ [khregs chod] and ‘Direct Crossing’ [thod rgal] and stayed many years in the mountains in seclusion. he hid it in the wall of his room and could not let go of this attachment even at the moment of death. Since your previous negativity might outweigh your virtuous deeds of this life. He had to carve the shape of each animal he had killed on the mani stone. In addition. a practitioner must purify his mind-stream through confession. Especially on the verge of death [’chi kha’i mtshams sbyor]. Very attached to his money. who practice ‘defiling virtue’ [zag bcas kyi dge ba]. As it is said: “When our obscurations are purified. you need to be very careful to prevent negative thoughts and emotions from arising in your mind-stream.. Text section 292: Even virtuous people [dge ba can]. realization will dawn naturally” [sgrib pa dag na rtogs pa ngang gis shar]. there is no certainty that the practice of defiling virtue by itself will lead you to rebirth in the higher realms. Tradition tells the story of a monk who led a virtuous life and became very rich. The karmic force that begins an action is called ‘impelling karma’ [’phan byed gyi las] and the karmic force that completes an action is called ‘completing karma’ [rdzogs byed 154 1872-1935 .154 made him repeat the Longchen Nyingthig preliminary practices [sngon ’gro] more than thirty times. had been a great evildoer and tough guy before becoming a dharma practitioner. i. the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche. Tubten Chökyi Dorje [thub bstan chos kyi rdo rje]. Negative thoughts and intentions at that moment sabotage your chances for a good rebirth. he made his confessions. The causes for rebirth in the lower realms remain in your mind-stream [rgyud] even if you practice only virtue in this life. It is said that he took rebirth as a tiny insect on the money hidden in the wall. the wisdom of the path of seeing [mthong lam gyi ye shes]. we will no longer even be able to commit wicked deeds. Aðgulimāla [sor mo phreng ba] was such an arhat who experienced the ripening of his wicked deeds after he had attained arhatship. As long as one’s heavy negative deeds have not been purified through confession. In this way. Later. Without purifying our negative deeds through confession. In 1952 he achieved the rainbow body [’ja’ lus]. even should we attain the level of an arhat. might still take rebirth in the lower realms.

and pay attention to what should be done and what should be avoided. the Buddha. Afflictions cause negative deeds and bad karma. This disease of afflictions is infinitely more difficult to heal that any ordinary physical disease. if you stray into a wicked mind state [sdig sems] as you are dying. the method to cure the disease of afflictions. being burned [bsreg pa] with moksha [me btsa’] or a red-hot iron. Thus. their completing force might be negative [’phen byed dge bas ’phangs kyang rdzogs byed sdig pas rdzogs pa]. understand that the disease of afflictions is infinitely more dangerous than any ordinary disease. while virtue might dominate your actions as the initial impelling force. the bardo. Only when you heed the advice of the supreme physician. he took rebirth as the god Indra’s elephant in the god realms. On the verge of death you need to know where to direct yourself [gang la mtshams sbyor shes pa] and how to lead your mind through the intermediate state. No ordinary disease consigns you to the lower realms. Another story tells of a virtuous person in ancient India who had accumulated enough merit to be reborn in the god realms. Your bad karma leads you to rebirth in the lower realms. However. into the next life. You even willingly undergo hardships such as bloodletting [gtar ba]. all one hundred will take rebirth in the hell realm. Therefore.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 301 gyi las]. These stories illustrate the great importance of virtuous ‘completing karma’ at the end of any action and especially at the end of one’s life. does so. Text sections 294 / stanza 55: In stanza 55 Śāntideva compares afflictions to infectious diseases that lead all people to the lower realms. Understand as well that the dharma. You should however be much more concerned about the great terminal disease of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i gcong nas chen po] with which you have been stricken since beginningless time. you will take rebirth in the lower realms. The only medicine that will cure you is the precious dharma administered by the Buddha. Like the monk in the last story. if one hundred beings generate anger toward a bodhisattva. . or undergoing acupuncture [phug pa] with a golden needle [gser khab] and so on. One’s mental state at the moment of death has a tremendous impact on the next life. only your wicked deeds. ignorance and other afflicitons. your involvement in desire. as he was very attached to his elephant even at the moment of his death. infection by even a single affliction plants the cause for rebirth in the hell realm. is very difficult to obtain. Text section 293 / stanza 54: Stanza 54 uses the example of disease to demonstrate why confession is necessary as an antidote to wicked deeds. When stricken by a common disease you follow the advice of a physician who tells you how to cure your disease. a very sensitive and perilous object. will you escape the three lower realms. aversion. Despite the accumulation of considerable virtue. For instance. This disease will certainly lead you to the suffering of the lower realms.

such a person is not aware that the precious human body is the perfect vehicle for attaining liberation and omniscience. was recognized as such three times by the kings of Magadha. Similarly. follow the advice of the Buddha. connotes ‘not knowing’ [ha ma go ba]. He has taught the path out of suffering. then. your birth divinities [lhan cig skyes pa’i lha]. you would not find no method superior to the dharma for curing the disease of afflictions. Text section 296: Someone who would use a golden vessel to clean up excrement would be considered stupid. physical as well as mental. but instead engage in non-virtuous conduct. which is also translated as ‘ignorance’. The . If you follow the advice given by the Buddha and practice the dharma well. the ‘absence of awareness’. 155 ‘Ignorant’ [gti mug] connotes delusion or dullness. infected by afflictions. page 91: [gti mug can dam pa rnams kyis ches cher smad par bya ’os pa’i gnas su gyur pa]. “Well done.155 Thus. the suffering of the lower realms. page 92: [gti mug can dam pa rnams kyis smad par bya ba’i gnas yin no]. if you ignore the advice of the Buddha and commit negative actions. Do not act foolishly like someone stricken by a disease who refuses to follow his doctor’s advice. Text section 297 The physican Jīvaka-kumāra [’tsho byed gzhon nu]. Buddha’s teachings can completely eliminate all forms of suffering. Such a person is not aware of the difficulties of obtaining a human body nor is he aware of the consequences of wicked deeds. an ignorance that is dull and dark. who says. Text section 295 / stanza 56 In this regard [de la]. your protective deities [bsrung skyob kyi lha].302 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Disease-stricken people must rely on the advice of a physician. should follow the advice of the Buddha.” Furthermore. Even if you searched the entire world. See also Sazang. term ma rig pa. we become an object of criticism [smad pa’i gnas]156 of the Buddha. 156 Khenpo Chöga observes that to translate this phrase with ‘object of scorn’ or ‘worthy of scorn’ would be too strong since a buddha harbors no such feelings toward any sentient being. meaning in regard to the method that can heal all these diseases of afflictions. The dharma teaches the methods for eradicating the diseases of afflictions and for preventing the consequences of afflictions. we are extremely ignorant. will leave you. Someone who uses a precious human rebirth to commit wicked deeds must be considered even far more stupid. since we are bringing harm upon ourselves. who was considered the greatest physican of his time. then the Buddha lauds you. sentient beings. See Minyak Kunzang. “You will not fare well. child of noble family” [legs so rigs kyi bu]. Buddha has identified suffering and also the causes of suffering. the supreme physician. Moreover. But if we fail to practice the dharma.

when you think about the results of your negativity. There. your wicked deeds [sdig pa]. pages 389-390.157 pointed out all the medicinal plants. pages 463-466. his pride was humbled. At this time. As result he became very proud and could not see the truth of the dharma. In response to sage Manasija’s questions. can identify the correct antidote for each disease. Mt. sage Vidyajñāna taught the ‘four medicine tantras’ [sman gyi rgyud bzhi]. Bhaiṣajyaguru in turn. and your nonvirtuous actions [mi dge ba’i las]. It is generally considered that the collective karma. 3) the instructional tantra [man ngag rgyud] and 4) the subsequent tantra [phyi ma’i rgyud].158 Buddha Śākyamuni also taught for four years the four tantras of the medical sciences in the celestial realm of the thirty-three [skr. surrounded by four mountains—Mt. To teach him humility. purify the causes for going there. Understand that you must overcome the habitual patterns of committing negative deeds. 2) the exegetical tantra [bshad rgyud]. and explained which diseases they cured. If you want to avoid suffering in the lower realms. however. Malaya [ri bo ma la ya] to the west—amidst a wonderous forest of medicinal trees. Gandhamādana [ri bo spos ngad ldan] to the east and Mt. where Buddha Śākyamuni manifested as the Medicine Buddha. you will surely fall into the hell realms in the next life. chapter 82. Mt. With a sincere belief in karma. Buddha Bhaiṣajyaguru [sangs rgyas sman bla]. emanated the sage Vidyajñāna [drang srong rig pa’i ye shes] and the sage Manasija [drang srong yid las skyes]. .Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 303 twice by King Bimbisāra [gzugs can snying po] and once by Ajātaśatru [ma skyes dgra]. you understand why you should quickly purify your mind through confession. 2) the retinue of sages [drang srong gi’ khor]. is the city of medicine called Sudarśana [sman gyi grong khyer lta na sdug]. Among the latter was also the great Indian physician Jīvaka-kumāra.159 The audience consisted of the four-fold retinue: 1) the retinue of gods [lha’i ’khor]. sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. Text section 298 / stanza 57: Being careless about your conduct and continuing to accumulate wicked deeds. 3) the retinue of non-Buddhist divinities [phyi pa’i ’khor] and 4) the retinue of Buddhists [nang pa’i ’khor]. on top of Mount Meru. Since Jīvaka-kumāra knew nothing of this. residing in a palace. 159 The four medicine tantras are: 1) the root tantra [rtsa rgyud]. trayastriṃśa]. the law of cause 157 Himalayas [ri bo kha ba can]. Vindhyā [ri bo ’bigs byed] to the south. Himavant [ri bo gangs can] to the north. taught him how to prepare them. Buddha took Jīvaka-kumāra to the Himavant mountains [ri bo gangs ldan]. The causes for a rebirth in the lower realms are your negative mindset [bsam pa ngan pa]. of sentient beings causes various kinds of diseases and their medicinal antidotes to manifest in this world. positive as well as negative. Only the Buddha in his infinite knowledge. 158 See dad pa’i nyin byed.

saṃjīva] belongs to the eight hot hells [tsha dmal brgyad. From the ultimate viewpoint. into a dark abyss ending up in the hell realms. Once we have taken rebirth in the hell realms. we might have to experience the horrors of that perception for one intermediate aeon [bar gyi bskal pa]. we experience tremendous suffering and we will not be able to free ourselves from this situation. all perceptions are as unreal as dreams. Therefore. pages 23-27. Buddhist cosmology teaches that the hell realms begin with the reviving hell. Aim for the truth of cessation. 161 See BCA Volume One. Once we have arrived at the hell realms. pages 63-71. text section 201. pages 97-102. text section 38. never thinking or reflecting about the impermanent nature of their own lives. And apply the path to your mind. head first. mngon mdzod mchan ’grel (2). Text sections 299 / stanza 58 People are ignorant about time and impermanence. pages 267-268. As long as we experience this life as real and solid we will also experience the perceptions of the next life as real and solid. Overcome the truth of origination. The reviving hell [yang sos.160 In the individual perception [rang snang] of a person who has accumulated great negativity. skr. we can avoid creating the causes of suffering and therefore should be heedful not to create negative thoughts [bsam pa ngan pa].161 At present.304 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations and effect. however. Treasury of Qualities. You must understand the truth of suffering. aṣṭa-aṣṇanaraka]. . twenty thousand leagues [dpag tshad] below the surface of Jambudvīpa. Buddha said that we should understand the nature of suffering and overcome its causes. When they buy a car they consider how 160 See BCA Volume One. there will be a long fall. Jewel Ornament. For a detailed description of the different hell realms. pages 71-75. As long as we remain caught up in our dreams. sdug bsngal shes par bya kun ’byung spong bar bya ‘gog pa sngon du bzhag dgos lam rgyud la brten dgos Thus. and Words of My Perfect Teacher. their locations and their types of suffering see Prince Jið-Gim’s Textbook. we continue to perceive them as real. Buddha described the essence of the four noble truths. you will try to the best of your ablility to discontinue your negative deeds and aspire to virtue.

Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 305 long it might last. When terminally ill. Sit down to practice dharma right now. and you should not presume that you have a certain number of years left. Live every day as if it could be your last. There is nothing left to do but practice. The teachings on the uncertainty of death are meant to inspire students to practice rather than to remain petrified in fear of death.” With this attitude you will accomplish the teachings. an old evil doer. days or minutes they themselves might last. nor is there even any certainty that you will still be alive tonight. Although we know that we must die we continue to assume longevity. sitting. Life is unpredictable. talking. Text section 300: Externally. without wasting precious time in anything other than dharma practice. not even the Buddha. Text sections 301-302 / stanza 59: Nobody. but they never seriously consider how many years. “I am completely fine. Teachers encourage their students to practice well in order to prepare for death. Otherwise. “Death comes now. Think. Do not relax your mind [sems bag phab] in a state of laziness and do not stay at ease [bde bar ’dug pa]. You could die any moment. Be grateful that you have another day to practice. As Nāgārjuna says. humans as well as non-human can cause harm to a person’s life. Take this thought to heart. who can guarantee that I myself. you will not. a person can be harmed by an imbalance of the body elements. only the time and circumstance is uncertain. If everybody has to die and if all wicked people will take rebirth in the hell realms. a completely unsubstantiated assumption. As life is that unpredictable and fragile. only this person who . The moment of death puts one’s practice to the test. Be aware that this could well be your last day. Death is certain. no one can guarantee that I will be liberated from the suffering of the hell realms once I have taken rebirth there. will not also go to hell after death? Nobody can. there is no time to waste. On waking in the morning immediately take refuge to the three jewels. can assure a wicked person that he has no reason to fear death and rebirth in the lower realms. a real yogin will never complain and might even say. life is even more impermanent than a water bubble. Therefore. Really take to heart that people die while walking. Furthermore. my time is up. A Buddhist practitioner does not so much fear death itself but rather fears lacking sufficient time to practice the dharma before death comes. eating or sleeping. months. living an ordinary. You cannot be sure that you will still be alive tomorrow. and resolve not to waste your day with worldly activities. With these teachings teachers are trying to make students understand that they should not waste time with worldly activities. Resolve that the karma of negative deeds surely leads to the hell realms. People actually avoid the subject and fool themselves into believing that they still have a certain number of years left. do not waste your time with any worldly activity. worldly life. Internally.

Apply now the antidote to your former wicked deeds. vanishing in the second moment. once freed from the confines of the body. however. always pursuing the next moment of bliss. Practice tirelessly until your mind is no longer overpowered by afflictions. Text sections 303-305 / stanza 60: Habitual tendencies are like rolled up paper.” This is the state called happy to be sick. One is left with nothing. Therefore. Since it is impermanent it has the nature of suffering [sdug bsngal gyi rang bzhin]. nose [sna]. Passion and desire only increase the more we chase after them. The bliss of enjoying sense pleasures lasts only for a moment. a single blissful experience lasts only one mini-second before vanishing. smell [dri]. since nothing of that experience of defiling bliss remains. When we engage in sense pleasures we try to achieve the illusion of long-lasting enjoyment. sound [sgra]. Attachment to the five sense pleasures is never fulfilled and can never be truly satisfied. The habitual tendencies of being accustomed to a negative mindset are similar. we must repeatedly meditate on the teachings given in the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra and thereby transform our negative habits [ngan goms] into positive patterns [bzang goms]. We have already enjoyed all of these many times over. the five sense organs [dbang po lnga]162 and our consciousness [rnam shes] all come together. taste [ro] and touch [reg bya]. There is no lasting second moment of bliss. Examining this situation closely we see that the experience of bliss lasts only a mini-second. saddened and unhappy. When a yogin dies he knows that. he is joyful to become terminally ill. ears [rna]. In order to overcome these habitual patterns. he will attain complete enlightenment. Another mini-second of bliss may be experienced but it too will quickly fade away. If you try to stretch out a piece of paper that has been rolled up for a while. When the objects of the five sense pleasures. ‘Defiling bliss’ [zag bcas kyi bde ba] is impermanent and fleeting.306 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations looks like me seems to be sick. In truth. Defiling bliss lacks any continuity [rgyun yod ma red]. and texture [lus]. Nevertheless. joyous to die [na dga’ shi skyid bdag po]. tongue [lce]. it will roll itself back up. . The five sense pleasures [’dod pa’i yul lnga] are sight [gzugs]. A second moment of the same bliss cannot be experienced since it has already vanished. Defiling bliss does not sustain the dream of eternal bliss but vanishes and leaves us disappointed. only one second of ‘defiling bliss’ is experienced before it vanishes on the spot. There is no time for leisure. Each time we experience another moment of bliss it vanishes and we are left with nothing. we continue indulging in sense pleasure. ‘Defiling bliss’ is experienced only from moment to moment. because he now knows for certain that the time of death is near. The teachings say that each moment of defiling bliss is followed by a 162 The five sense organs [dbang po lnga] are eyes [mig]. until it is purified of all negativity.

In the search for the bliss of sense pleasure. or to practice the six transcendental perfections. not by perception. We consume alcohol and commit various misdeeds in the state of intoxication. deception and fighting. As Tilopa said: You are fettered by attachment. To begin freeing ourselves from the hold that sense pleasures have on us. who is the guru of the three worlds. and we will suffer the consequences of these actions in our next life. and fail to develop bodhicitta. who pointed out the wisdom of egolessness to us. we are advised to reduce our indulgence in them—to simplify our lives and to maintain discipline with regard to sense pleasures and cravings. we must make the strong resolve to follow their advice. we spend our entire lives chasing after them. chasing after sense pleasure in search of defiling bliss is utterly pointless [snying po med pa]. and through whom we have recognized buddha nature beyond any doubt. We accumulate considerable bad karma. alcohol and women. What is the advice of the Buddha and our root guru that we have disregarded? The advice is “Be virtuous! Abstain from a negative mindset and negative deeds!” Since we continue to commit the ten non-virtuous actions. By doing so we disregard the advice of our root guru [rtsa ba’i bla ma]. Those who constantly run after the enjoyment of sense pleasures try to create as many short moments of defiling bliss as possible. hardship and trouble. the suffering of being separated from bliss. Despite the transience of defiling bliss experiences. we have disregarded the advice of our root guru and the Buddha. Overcome attachment. Therefore. we commit all kinds of wrongdoing and undergo all sorts of suffering. We will slaughter animals to satisfy our craving for meat. But still they cannot avoid the suffering of being separated from defiling bliss the moment it ends. that teacher who taught us about genuine bodhicitta. we engage in intrigues. A practitioner should not aim to completely eliminate the enjoyment of sense pleasures. We have also disregarded the advice of the Buddha.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 307 moment of suffering. Text sections 306-307: We ordinary men have strong cravings for meat. The three worlds [’jig rten gsum] are: 1) the world of the gods living above the earth [sa bla lha’i ’jig rten]. 2) the world of the human beings living on the earth [sa steng ma’i ’jig rten] and 3) the world of the nāgas living below the earth [sa ’og klu’i ’jig rten]. but to cut his attachment and craving while enjoying them. We have destroyed both this life and the next chasing after sense pleasures and sense gratification. Tilopa! snang bas ma ching zhen pas ching zhen pa spong cig ti lo pa . realizing our mistake. Pursuing women. which would lead to a state of total sense deprivation. Now.

since there is no experiencer of karma left [las myong mkhan med pa]. Craving is the motivation. All forms of non-virtuous action [mi dge ba] and negativity [sdig pa] are based on them. one holds on to an identity even though there is no identity. If he has riches. Having realized egolessness. naked and alone. You can never get enough. taste and touch. but his ‘enjoyment’ is no longer called ‘enjoyment of the five sense pleasures’ [’dod pa’i yon tan lnga la longs spyod pa]. Unlike us. For a true yogin. Since he does not pursue sense pleasure. Craving and clinging [sred len] are only truly destroyed when the wisdom of egolessness is fully realized. When there is no ego-clinging left. the actual doing. Such a yogin will still use his five sense organs to see. we will no longer experience the fruitions of our previously accumulated karma. of the intermediate state. about emptiness. The root of saṃsāra has been purified [’khor ba’i rtsa ba dag tshar red]. hear. smell. outdoors as a renunciant. when the time to die comes. the life of a beggar and the life of a king are equal. You might think. They propel us into the play of hope and fear. Your life force [tshe srog] will burst like a water bubble. commit any non-virtuous action in its pursuit. We. You will have to face the horrors of death. he would never. while clinging is the application [sbyor ba]. You cannot even take your own body with you. but it also formed the basis for many misdeeds. with none of your friends and possessions. We should at least cut down on our involvement with them.308 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations Once free from all attachment. there is no difference for a practitioner whether he lives under a tree. acceptance and rejection. you will go to an uncertain destination. he will use them to ease the suffering of beings and to make offerings to the three jewels. and the next life in the three lower realms all by yourself. Craving and clinging are based on delusion [gti mug] and ignorance [ma rig pa]. the driving force [kun slong]. The pursuit of sense pleasures has no end. Deluded and ignorant about buddha nature. Once free of craving and clinging.” However. impelled by your non-virtuous . you will go. or as a king in a palace. Craving and clinging cause us to be attached to happiness and frightened of suffering. Craving and clinging [sred len] are the real root of saṃsāra. in the process of unwinding from saṃsāra. should completely cut all activities of non-virtuous and negative deeds in the pursuit of sense pleasures. we are free from fixations. even at the cost of his life. he is not fettered by sense pleasures. for him ‘the sense pleasures arise as an ornamentation’ [’dod pa’i yon tan lnga rgyan du ’char ba]. Their relationship is like that of intent [bsam pa] and action [sbyor ba]. “At the time of death my beloved ones and friends will help me. Text sections 308-309 / stanza 61: Not only did your former attachment to sense pleasures bring you no happiness. Such enjoyment of the sense pleasures is free from all attachment and thus does not create any further karma. Lacking the power of self-determination [rang dbang med par]. A true yogin can enjoy the five sense pleasures without attachment. That is called ego-clinging.

which are natural laws.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 309 actions [mi dge ba’i las kyi ’phen pa]. idle chatter. Only then will the dye be absorbed by the wool. Negative deeds of violating a natural law [rang bzhin gyi sdig pa]163 are violations of the ten virtuous actions [mi dge ba bcu]. contemplation and meditation will arise. As in this example. These are killing. Having faith of conviction in karma is called the ‘perfect view of a worldly person’ [’jig rten yang dag pa’i lta ba]. divisive speech. will you be able to practice the power of regret. skr. This is another reason for endeavoring to purify negative deeds. Negative deeds of breaking an established rule [bcas pa’i sdig pa]164 refers to breaking precepts that have been pronounced and established by the Buddha. lying. Text sections 310-312 / stanza 62: What really hurts you at the time of death is the sum total of all the wicked deeds you committed due to attachment to friends and aversion to enemies. skr. Thus. whether or not he has taken the vow to abstain from such actions. A person who is endowed with such faith from the bottom of his heart will naturally abstain from negative deeds and naturally practice virtue. harsh speech. Text sections 313-316 / stanza 63: All misdeeds [nyes pa] or negative deeds [sdig pa] are grouped into two categories: negative deeds of violating a natural law and negative deeds of breaking established rules. 164 Also called ‘unspoken misdeeds of breaking an established rule’ [bcas pa’i kha na ma tho ba. If you try to dye unwashed wool. Regardless of who has committed any of the ten non-virtuous actions. he is practicing the power of the applied antidote. harmful intent and wrong views. prakṛtyāvadya]. which will determine where you will take rebirth within saṃsāra’s lower realms. and the power of resolve. he has committed a natural misdeed. Only when you have the faith of conviction [yid ches kyi dad pa] in the law of karma. then what is the method for surely freeing yourself from them? Confession and the practice of virtue. in virtue and non-virtue. If your non-virtuous actions are the cause of harm. sexual misconduct. . stealing. you must first purify your mind of all negative deeds and non-virtuous actions. covetousness. the power of the antidote. prajñapty-avadya]. Before one can dye the wool of sheep. then the qualities of study. the wool will not absorb the dye. it must be washed a few times to get the fat and dirt out of it. A practitioner 163 Also called ‘unspoken misdeeds of violating a natural law’ [rang bzhin gyi kha na ma tho ba.

While a monk accumulates merit by keeping that precept as his training. has committed the misdeed of breaking an established rule. Therefore. If the bamboo fence is cut down. This kind of discipline is like the advice. This is the power of the precept. sexual misconduct. which is observed by monks or lay practitioners who are in possession of these precepts. He became very angry and cut the tree down. As a result of this. The established rules are like a protective bamboo fence planted around a mango grove. which are natural negative deeds. since they are designed to protect the major precepts. “Don’t drink poison. Natural discipline [rang bzhin gyi tshul khrims]: By refraining from the ten non-virtuous actions. monks should not take lightly even the minor established rules. one is practicing a discipline which naturally leads to merit. he took rebirth as a nāga with the body of a huge serpent several leagues long. its roots crawling with . he does not break any established rule and generates no negative karma. Such practice does not depend on taking precepts although if one embraces this conduct with precepts.310 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations who commits himself to following these established rules and then breaks them. not the rules of trainings established by the Buddha for his followers. he accumulates merit. if a monk keeps an established rule. stealing. Conversely. On his head grew a great elapattra tree. If a lay person eats at night. This mainly refers to the ten non-virtuous actions such as killing. who is careless about the minor precepts will sooner or later break the major rules and bring great suffering upon himself. At the time of Buddha Kāśyapa [’od srung] the robe of a monk got caught in a big elapattra tree. as he has not committed to follow this particular precept. a monk must follow the established rule of not eating after mid-day. An unspoken misdeed of violating a natural law [rang bzhin gyi kha na ma tho ba] refers to any deed which creates negative karma. crushing him with its weight. it will greatly increase one’s merit. These are rules of training that the Buddha established in order to support the virtuous lifestyle of practitioners [nyams len pa]. lying and the like. For example. he breaks a rule that the Buddha established for monks. the mango grove will be damaged. An established rule [bcas khrims] is a rule from the monk’s codex.” Whoever engages in the ten nonvirtuous actions will take rebirth in unhappy states in saṃsāra. Any monk or fully ordained monk. If he does so. the vinaya. He has not taken this particular precept as his training and therefore does not break it by eating at night. If you drink poison you will get sick. Text section 317 / stanza 63: Fully ordained monks have to keep 253 precepts. and creates negative karma. a lay person will not accumulate merit if he does not eat at night.

“I. You offer confession with utter sincerity. which is beyond time and distance. We have fallen under the power of ignorance [mi shes pa]. Unreported misdeed [kha na ma tho ba] actually means ‘a misdeed that had been kept secret’. have committed all these negative deeds and downfalls. Nevertheless. It is something that makes the mouth dirty [kha gtsog] when mentioned. You must remove all this negativity from your system as if it were poison. the monk had to endure great suffering. particularly monks.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 311 insects which caused him terrible suffering. I confess without hiding or concealing anything. page 124. ‘a misdeed that was left untold’.” Acknowledging your former misdeeds. ‘something that cannot be mentioned’ [kha thog tu phud mi phod pa] due to embarrassment [ngo tsha] or inauspiciousness [bkra mi shes pa]. Whatever is left untold and not openly admitted has not been confessed. “Revealing each misdeed. say.165 Thus. ‘something that has not reached the mouth’.” Confessing like this will relieve you of the burden of former misdeeds and your mind will be purified and joyous. Confession may be offered in front of a stūpa. must confess all their misdeeds by admitting them openly and spelling them out. Text sections 319-320 / stanza 64 Having thus identified your negative deeds. You must promise to never repeat these deeds again. Deluded beings like ourselves cannot actually see the buddhas and bodhisattvas. a statue of the Buddha. Feel deep regret and wish to eliminate your former misdeeds. vagueness [mi gsal ba] and foolishness [gti mug] and have thus committed unspoken misdeeds of violating natural laws [rang bzhin gyi kha na ma tho ba] and negative deeds of breaking established rules [bcas pa’i sdig pa]. . you confess them in the direct presence of the compassionate protectors. the buddhas and bodhisattvas. the fool. Offer prostrations repeatedly to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. or by simply visualizing the Buddha and the bodhisattvas in front of you. they can perceive us without hindrance due to their wisdom perception [ye shes kyi gzigs pa]. whom you mentally visualize [yid kyis mngon sum du ’god nas] as being in the sky in front of you. touching your forehead to the ground. one after the other. Buddhist practitioners. Text section 318 / stanza 63: We have been ignorant like a deluded child [rmongs pa’i byis pa] in regard to what should be done and what should be avoided [blang dor]. literally. ‘something impossible to mention’ [kha nang la brjod mi rung ba]. Even if they dwell countless 165 See Words of My Perfect Teacher. as the result of breaking an established rule. Say. your mind filled with deep regret about your mistakes.

being honored 166 dictionary: synonym with nyes pa and nor ba 167 Minyag Kunzang. they perceive us directly [mngon sum du mkhyen pa]. All your negative deeds will come back to you. Feel deep sorrow and regret for your actions. the one at fault [nongs pa can].312 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations world systems away [grangs med ’jig rten pha rol nas]. “How can I be certain that my negative deeds have been purified?” That you can see from your dreams. . flying through the sky.166 Please accept me. Such regret would only lead to a very bad rebirth. Many signs indicating the purification of negative deeds manifest in dreams. the mistaken one [nyes pa can]. Text section 321 / stanza 65 first part: You should feel compassion toward all beings when you remember all the horrible things you have done to them. washing yourself in an ocean. all these negative deeds that I hold in my mind. I acknowledge them to be mistakes [nongs pa].” Text section 322 / stanza 65 second part: While Minyag Kunzang167 classifies stanza 65 in its entirety as covering the power of resolve [sor chud pa’i stobs]. At the time of your death you should be free from regrets.168 Wicked deeds and non-virtuous actions are called bad conduct [spyod pa ngan pa]. We therefore pledge to abstain from them in the future. being given a flower garland. 168 The power of resolve may also be translated as the ‘power of restoration’ or the ‘power of repair’. This is the power of resolve. Generate the confidence that your negative deeds have been purified. Wicked deeds have no good qualities because they cause suffering to ourselves and other sentient beings. buddhas and bodhisattvas. Bring to mind the horrible consequences you have brought upon yourself by causing so much suffering to others. All these deeds will ripen on you. imagine that infinite multicolored light rays come from the bodies of the buddhas and bodhisattvas. page …. from light to darkness. Our non-virtuous actions cause our perception of the world to turn from good to bad. clearing away all your former misdeeds. After offering confession. Speak directly to the buddhas and bodhisattvas: “Guides. these unspoken misdeeds of violating natural and established rules. We should all practice the ten virtuous actions for our own good and for the good of others. You might ask. Khenpo Kunpal treats only the last two lines as the power of resolve. and look kindly upon me with your great compassion. These include dreaming of white flowers.

and so forth. In order to have a genuine recognition of buddha nature you must first purify misdeeds and obscurations through sūtra and tantra-style confession practices. The second type are those practitioners who have accumulated negative deeds but purify them through confessions. You should ask your teachers again and again about the meaning of the text until all your doubts are gone. True renunciation arises through wisdom-knowledge alone. Seeing clearly the suffering of all beings. The understanding of impermanence will remain in your mind at all times. Nothing in this book is removed from human experience. In this way these positive qualities still retain a taint of affliction. however. Text secion 323: There are two kinds of practitioners: those who hoist the victory banner of the dharma and those who bring down the victory banner of māra. and a practitioner needs to know how to overcome these subtle afflictions. When you put these teachings into practice. Through the tantric meditation on Vajrasattva your confession will bring about greater purification. you will naturally develop compassion for them and wish to liberate them from this endless circle of suffering. but will not utterly eradicate them. Although the text includes difficult passages. If you leave certain parts of the text as ‘obscure and strange’. Be aware. The first type are perfect practitioners who commit no negative deeds whatsoever but practice only virtue. Recite the lines of confession from the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra over and over again since they contain all the necessary knowledge concerning confession.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 313 and praised by many people. Your devotion to the Buddha and your root guru will be unwavering and practicing meditation will become easy and joyful. Śāntideva’s aim is to teach us how to uncover ‘the hidden Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra’ we all carry in our minds. you will not be able to recognize your buddha nature since your obscurations are still too strong. you come to understand the suffering of saṃsāra. Confession creates the conducive conditions for non-conceptual wisdom to arise in your mind. drinking milk. . you will see that they are words of truth. continuous study. but only the genuine recognition of buddha nature will utterly eradicate your negative deeds. and you will have a strong sense of renunciation in your heart. One moment of genuine recognition purifies countless aeons of negative karma. Another indication that your misdeeds have been purified is that the qualities of study. you will never have true renunciation. contemplation and practice will remove one’s doubts and misunderstandings. Without relying on these techniques. As your wisdom-knowledge [shes rab] grows. Renunciation has the nature of rejection and devotion the nature of acceptance. that the sūtra style of confession will decrease and purify your negative deeds to some extent. having a vivid dream of the Buddha or Vajrasattva. contemplation and meditation will become stronger and your mind will become increasingly pure [sems dvangs ma]. Until you really experience the pointlessness of all saṃsāric activities.

170 Ahiṃsaka Aðgulimāla [mi gdung ba sor phreng can] was the son of a brahmin who served at the court of King Prasenajid [gsal rgyal]. Aðgulimāla reached the level of an arhat and was praised by the Buddha to be the 169 Darśaka [mthong ldan] or Kṣemadarśin [mthong ldan dge ba] is another name of King Ajātaśatru [ma skyes dgra]. . Instead the Buddha converted him to the genuine dharma and later ordained him. Text section 324: The essence of heedfulness [bag yod] is being careful about what should be adopted or avoided. Aðgulimāla went to the forest of Kosala. After the Buddha revealed the horrors of the hell realms to him. he attempted to kill the Buddha as his final victim.314 Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations these unresolved doubts will eventually harm your virtuous intentions. Nanda became so terrified that he began to meditate and became an arhat. speech and mind. Darśaka [mthong ldan]169 and Udayana [bde byed] are examples of famous students of the Buddha who were at first heedless and then became exemplary practitioners. Do not be a superficial practitioner. When Aðgulimāla had killed 999 people. Buddha predicted that Nanda would become foremost among those who control their sense gates [dbang po’i sgo bsdams pa rnams kyi mchog tu lung bstan to]. dad pa’i nyin byed. pages 247-255. Nanda was a lustful Śākya youth and a half-brother [gcung] of the Buddha. Many people who begin as ardent and diligent Buddhist practitioners turn to another religion or path after a few years. Jewel Ornament pages 388-392. pages 50-53. he was so attached to his wife that he thought of her day and night and could not practice virtue. like the full moon which has been freed of clouds. telling him that by killing one thousand human beings and making a garland of fingers he would be practicing the genuine dharma. ‘Finger Garland’. is considered to be beautiful. Thus he became known as Aðgulimāla. He threaded the finger bones and wore them as a garland. Someone who. Aðgulimāla [sor phreng / sor mo’i phreng ba / sor ’phreng can]. Eventually. A heedful practitioner is very careful to practice only what is defined as virtue and tries to avoid and overcome all that is considered non-virtue. A serious student must continue asking questions until all his doubts have been clearified. page 460. This results directly from not addressing all doubts and unresolved issues. Nanda [dga' bo]. 170 See the 11th story of Kalpalatā. Apply the teachings to your daily life. though formerly heedless. has become heedful in his conduct through the kindness of a master. Nāgārjuna’s Letter pages 41-42. Tackle the difficult passages of the text right away. Though he was ordained by the Buddha. Heaven Tree. Ahiṃsaka was deceived by a teacher who directed him onto a non-dharmic path. Those who have not received teachings from a qualified master are ignorant about virtue and non-virtue and therefore are heedless [bag med] in their conduct of body. slew travelers and took a finger from each of his victims. Only the guidance of a master can teach one how to practice virtue and how to avoid non-virtue.

he was expelled by the saṃgha when the saṃgha learned that he had committed such a crime with immediate retribution.172 Udayana murdered his own mother because she had prevented him from sleeping with another man’s wife. sangs rgyas bcom ldan ’das kyi rnam thar. he did not remain there for long.173 Text section 325: The four sections covered in the second chapter of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra are: the section on presenting offerings. pages 317-333. . He settled in a border country and erected a temple. A large number of monks eventually took up residence there. Jewel Ornament pages 385-387. the section on paying respect. pages 349-382. the section on going for refuge and the section on confessing negative deeds. pages 283-284.171 Darśaka also known as Ajātaśatru fell under the bad influence of Devadatta [lhas sbyin] and committed many wicked deeds. King Bimbisāra [gzugs can snying po]. Although he received full monk ordination [dge slong]. Jewel Ornament pages 381-384. Later. He became one of Buddha’s foremost faithful lay practitioners [dge bsnyen]. 173 See Nāgārjuna’s Letter pages 41-42. and Udayana acted as their elder. including killing his father. mdzangs blun chapter 36. he repented his wrong-doing and was able to escape the karmic ripening of his deeds. dad pa’i nyin byed. 171 See Nāgārjuna’s Letter pages 41-42. The primary focus of this chapter is how to confess negativity. Great Disciples of The Buddha. 172 See Nāgārjuna’s Letter pages 41-42. Jewel Ornament pages 393-396. when Ajātaśatru had gained faith in the Buddha.Khenpo Chöga’s Oral Explanations 315 foremost among those with sharp faculties [bcom ldan ’das kyis dbang po rnon po rnams kyi mchog ni sor phreng can yin no zhes bsngags so]. He was again reborn in the god realm and attained the level of a stream-enterer. Although after his death Udayana was born in hell as the consequence of his crime with immediate retribution. pages 471-477.

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843. Lu. Sūtrālaṃkāra [mdo sde rgyan / mdo rgyan]: Mahāyāna-Sūtrālaṃkāra-kārikā [theg pa chen po mdo sde’i rgyan tshig le’ur byas pa]. Vol. written by Śāntideva [zhi ba’i lha]. 108. 34. Śikṣā-samuccaya [bslab btus / bslab pa kun las btus pa]. Vol. Zi.3. 103.-216.2. Vol.4.3.7-32. 5366.5. check (???) Vimaladatta-paripṛcchā-sūtra [dri ma med pa’i med]: Ārya-vimaladatta-paripṛcchā-nāmamahā-yāna-sūtra [’phags pa dri ma med kyis byin pas zhus pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo]. 5336. Peking No.1-84. Vimala-sūtra [dri ma med pa’i mdo]: Ārya-vimala-kīrti-nirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra [’phags pa dri ma med par grags pas bstan pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo]. pages 183. 961.4.1.1. Khi. dkon brtsegs. Subāhu-paripṛcchā-sūtra [lag bzang zhus pa’i mdo]: Ārya-subāhu-paripṛcchā-nāmamahāyāna-sūtra [’phags pa lag bzangs kyis zhus pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo]. Ki. 102. Vol. Vol. 30. Vol. Peking No. taught by Maitreyanātha and written by Asaðga [thogs med]. 743. Sūtrālaṃkāra-vṛtti-bhāṣya [mdo sde’i rgyan gyi ’grel bshad]. taught by Maitreyanātha and written by Asaðga [thogs med].Bibliography of sūtras. 24. folio 153b5-184b3. Ratna-kūṭa. folio 3a8-225b3. pages 63. 108. Śilākṣipta-sūtra [rdo ’phangs pa’i mdo]: Ārya-śilākṣipta-sūtra [’phags pa rdo phangs pa’imdo]. 103. 103. Sher phyin.5-76. 21. Peking No. sūtra 26. Peking No. pages 1. Vol. Phi.5. dKon brtsegs V. 103. Vol.3. folio 1-43b3.1-272. Vol.1. 5531.4. Śoka-vinodana [mya ngan bsal ba]. mDo ’grel (sems tsam) XLIV. 5525.1. Chu. tantras and śāstras cited by title 319 Sad-dharma-puṇḍarīka-sūtra [dam pa’i chos padma dkar po’i mdo]: Sad-dharmapuṇḍarīka-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra [dam pa’i chos padma dkar po zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo]. pages 24.1-19. Peking 5521. Triśaraṇa-saptati [skyabs ’gro bdun cu pa]: Triśaraṇa-[gamana]-saptati [gsum la skyabs su ’gro ba bdun cu pa]. check (???) . Peking No.5. Peking No. 781. Sūrya-garbha-sūtra [nyi ma’i snying po’i mdo]: Ārya-prajñā-pāramitā-sūrya-garbhamahā-yāna-sūtra [’phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa nyi ma’i syning po’i theg pa chen po’i mdo]. Vol. Peking No. XXIV. pages 1. written by Aśvaghoṣa [rta dbyangs]. 108. 38. 5418.6. folio 54b7-74b6. mDo sna tshogs XXVII. Peking No. 5478. Suhṛl-lekha [spring yig]. Phi. Peking No. Uttara-tantra [rgyud bla ma]: Mahāyānottaratantra-śāstra [theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma’i bstan bcos].1. pages 213. Peking No. Vol.1. mDo sna tshogs VII. 5409. Vol. mDo ’grel (dbu ma) XXXII. written by Nārārjuna [klu sgrub]. 760 / 33. 760. Vol. written by Sthiramati [blo gros brtan pa].3. mDo ’grel (dbu ma) XXXI. Peking No. folio 1-205a5. Vol. folio 74b6-81b4. Peking No. mDo ’grel (sems tsam) XLIV.6. written by Candrakīrti [zla ba grags pa] and also Peking No. 24.

mDo sna tshogs XXVIII. tantras and śāstras cited by title Udāna-varga (1) [ched du brjod pa’i tshoms]. pages 89. mDo ’grel (mgon pa) LXXI. pages 55. deutsche Übersetzung und Anmerkungen.1-77. Vol. Wörterbuch. König Von Roruka: Udrāyaṇa. Peking No. 1955.1. Du.1-106.320 Bibliography of sūtras. in Deutsche übertragen und mit einem Wörterbuch versehen von Johannes Nobel. . Eine Buddhistische Erzählung. Erster Teil. Herausgegeben. Udāna-varga (2) [ched du brjod pa’i tshoms]. Vol. 119. Otto Harrassowitz. folio 1-52a6. written by Arhat Dharmatrāta [dgra bcom pa chos skyob]. 5600.8. folio 218a1-261b8. 992.5. Udrāyaṇa. Zweiter Teil.1. Tibetischer Text. Wiesbaden.6. 39. Peking No.4. Shu. König Von Roruka.

Bibliography of sūtras. tantras and śāstras cited by title 321 .

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